Elementary schoolchildren are not too young to learn about the importance of getting an annual flu shot. Hillcrest Medical Center in Oklahoma has partnered with the Tulsa Health Department to create a “Don’t Bug Me” campaign to educate families and children and encourage them to practice healthy lifestyle habits and get their flu and COVID-19 vaccines.
Engaging children means offering the right balance of facts and fun — and mixing in a little goofiness. And the Hillcrest website offers just that.
- A school poster reminds kids to “gimme space” by keeping six feet apart from others and avoiding gathering in large groups; to wash hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and water; and to cover sneezes and coughs and wear a mask.
- A “Gross Facts” Activity Book offers info on snot, phlegm and boogers, which most kids will love learning more about.
- One gross fact: When we sneeze, our body ejects snot, spit and pretty much anything else in our mouth and nose upward to 100 miles per hour.
- Another gross fact: Nose hairs, or vibrissae, “get coated with snot and perform a tag-team against, pollen, dust, bacteria and other junk in the air.”
People can download all the content for free.
In a video posted on the website and also shared on YouTube, purple-haired Professor Penelope, a human, and friendly flu-bug Louie Achooee, a larger-than-human puppet, demonstrate how to properly mask up and wash hands. Another video features cartoon characters and a snappy jingle.
Also on the website, a map pinpoints locations where people can get their flu shot and COVID-19 vaccine or booster, reminding readers that an annual flu shot is recommended for everyone age 6 months and older, and children age 5 and older can receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
Hillcrest Medical Center and the Tulsa Health Department have been working together since 2003 to educate their community about healthy habits to prevent the spread of influenza and other communicable diseases. The “Don’t Bug Me” awareness and prevention campaign is conducted throughout classrooms and business, with materials provided to teachers and business owners, and via print, broadcast and outdoor advertising.