Exploring the Factors Affecting the Prevention, Control and Reporting of Enterovirus Infections in Kindergartens

Pei-Chuan Hsu1,Ching-Min Chang1,Mei-Hui Hsieh1,Jyh-Mirn Lai2,Wei-Hsun Chao3

2013 Vol.29 NO.13

Correspondence Author: Wei-Hsun Chao

  • 1. Department of Early Childhood Education, National Chiayi University
  • 2. Department of Veterinary Medicine, National Chiayi University
  • 3 .Department of Early Childhood Educare, WuFeng University


       This study seeks to investigate what steps kindergartens have taken in preventing, controlling and reporting enterovirus infections; and whether these kindergartens have encountered any problems or difficulties during kindergarten reviews in relation to enterovirus control. Semi-structured in-depth interviews are used in this study. In Chiayi City, a private kindergarten, a public kindergarten, and a nurse who has been involved in kindergarten reviews, are selected as purposive samples. The principal or director and relative staffs of both kindergartens, as well as a school nurse who has been involved in kindergarten reviews, are interviewed. Results obtained from the investigation show that the private kindergarten would actively check children’s oral conditions, rather than just passively maintaining children’s personal hygiene. The public kindergarten, however, is more focused on getting children to wash hands and to disinfect the environment, and does not actively check children for possible symptoms. In promoting awareness of enterovirus, the private school teaches children about the right steps and the right time to wash hands. During outbreaks, the private school uses red notes and communication books to inform parents on how to prevent enterovirus infections. It also asks their children to put on face masks and avoid public places. The public kindergarten would inform the parents about enterovirus infections at the beginning of each semester. Information about enterovirusis posted on the school's bulletin board, and drawing competitions on health topics such as the "five correct steps to wash hands" are often held. When the private kindergarten finds symptoms such as fever, rashes, or oral ulcers on a child, they would keep the child in a sick bay to keep them away from other children. Parents would be asked to pick up a child who displays symptoms and to have them seen by a doctor. The private school would insist that sick children stay at home until they are fully recovered and free of symptoms. Teachers at the public kindergarten would contact the caregivers by phone when a child is absent and record the reason for the absence and the time the child is due to return to the classroom. More details will be recorded for a suspended class. In disease reporting, public kindergartens are obliged to send a daily report to three local health authorities, (local health agency, health bureau, and education authority), regardless of the existence of any suspected cases. Private kindergartens only need to report to the local health bureaus when there is a suspected case within the school. It is recommended that the reporting is simplified to a single agency; that more attention is directed towards the details which are often overlooked in enterovirus prevention and control; that the cooperation between the government and local communities can be tightened; and that a community-driven partnership is encouraged to increase the awareness of healthcare information to build healthier communities.