Teddy bears have been given their marching orders from British nursery schools and day care centers as the government seeks to stop the spread of swine flu, the Guardian reports. New guidelines say soft toys should be removed since they are hard to clean properly, and the sharing of pencils and crayons should be discouraged. School assemblies should be scrapped if any students are ill, the guidelines say.
"This is about striking a sensible balance between continuing life as normal but also taking commonsense steps to protect children,” a government spokesman said. “The most important message is that parents should not take their children to play settings if the children have any flu-like symptoms.” British authorities expect most nursery and other schools to reopen as normal in September, although some closures may be necessary.