Preschools prepare for flu season

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By Tami Hoey By Tami Hoey

 PHOENIX -- The alphabet is important for both education and for hygiene at Sunrise Preschools in the Valley.

"We teach everyone on their way in the entire routine. So whether it's a parent, a teacher, or kiddos who are coming in, they all learn the proper way to hand wash," said Danielle Walker, Director of Education at Sunrise Preschools.

Walker says hand sanitizers have given way to good old-fashioned soap and water and a thorough hand washing.

"We do it several times, all day long," she said. 

There are instructions at every sink reminding students and staff the proper way to wash.

With a towel ready, kids are taught to use their elbows to turn on the water, and lather up for as long as it takes to sing the alphabet song.

They then use a paper towel to turn off the water.

And with the Centers for Disease Control reporting widespread flu cases across most of the nation and active regionally here in Arizona, the folks at Sunrise Preschools are sanitizing everything they can to keep a germ-free classroom for their students.

"So we have a bleach solution that we use to sanitize all of our surfaces, our tables, our toys, everything," said Walker.

Many toys even take a bath in the bleach.

And the students even learn a new way to cover their sneeze.

"We teach our kids to sneeze like a magician. We tell the kids to pull their cape over their sneeze so they're actually sneezing into their arm and not on their hands," said Walker.

Keeping the students and staff healthy is at the top of the curriculum for the class.

"So even though this is the time of year when we see a lot of illness, we are on guard every day, all year long," Walker said.