Parents: Flu School Closings Not a Problem

ATLANTA, Sept. 9 (UPI) — U.S. parents who experienced H1N1 school closings generally supported the closures and reported few adverse effects from them, health officials say.

To learn more about parents’ experiences during H1N1 school dismissals, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Harvard Opinion Research Program conducted a randomized telephone poll of 523 U.S. parents whose child care center or school closed due to the pandemic during fall 2009.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, released Thursday, says overall, parents reported few adverse effects related to dismissals.

Three percent of the respondents say dismissal was a major problem, while 75 percent report it was not a problem. Approximately 20 percent of parents report an adult in the household missed work because of the school dismissal and 19 percent had a child who missed a free or reduced-cost lunch.

Only 2 percent say a school closing due to the flu was a major problem, the report says.

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