EAST PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) - The flu season is already causing headaches and stuffy noses for local pre-schools and childhood centers.
The Centers for Disease Control says that around 20,000 kids under age five are hospitalized yearly because of influenza complications.
The owner and operator of the Beehive Childhood Center in East Providence has seen first hand what happens when a child brings the bug to the beehive.
"We send letters home to the parents telling them if the child isn't feeling well, to keep them home," said Lorriane Ramos.
Ramos says the key to keeping kids healthy in her school is to keep them clean.
"If you cough, sneeze, any of those things, blow your nose and wash your hands immediately," she said.
Ramos has owned the center for the last 32 years. This year, the business implemented a new policy to nip any ailments in the bud. All kids go through a five step hand washing process as soon as they enter the building. They added the policy to comply with a state pre-school rating system called, Brightstars.
"We weren't washing our hands first thing in the a.m.., but now we are," said Ramos. "And I understand quite a few schools whether they're participating in Brightstars or not, have that procedure especially now.
Ramos believes the Beehive Childhood Center is the first in East Providence to finish the Brightstars process. She hopes their 3-star rating will show parents that they care about kids safety.
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