As parents we want to protect our children. From the time we drop them off at the school house door to the moment we greet them at the bus stop, we worry -- not so much about them, but about the other students around them.
- "Are they vaccinated?"
- "Have they been exposed?"
- "Is that rash measles?"
- Will my child's vaccination work?"
For day care centers, schools, corporations with day care, churches and rec centers, camps, amusement parks, restaurants, arcades, malls and anywhere else exposure to measles and other infections may occur need to have a plan, a strategy for communicating with their parents, customers and clients before an outbreak is reported and have a plan in place for should one ever occur.
- What's your policy?
Right now draft a letter outlining your policy. Do you accept children who have not received a vaccination?
- What's your plan?
If a case is reported, even if a child begins to have a fever, what will you do? What is the protocol? What does the letter say that you will send home with the child? Is there a section on your website to refer parents?
- Handling the media?
They will call so what will your response be? Do you have a PR firm on retainer to refer calls to?
In communicating publicly,
- Stick to the facts.
- Don't embellish.
- Be straight, upfront and direct.
- Don't reveal personal information about the victim or other children involved.
- Work with your legal counsel and PR counsel to communicate quickly and effectively to ensure every concern is addressed and the children are safe.