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Our TCW healthcare consultant is here for you with the latest information and advice on important topics.


Mary Jane Cote has been with The Children’s Workshop for 16 years, joining the team in 2004 and then becoming the Regional Director of Nursing Services in 2007. 

She is available to support children, families and staff with questions and concerns related to illness, infection and other health and safety issues. Mary provides training and resources in all aspects of health & safety topics such as Safe Sleep and SIDS risk reduction, medication administration, infectious disease control and prevention, nutrition and infant care. Mary is also an AHA CPR instructor.

​Her prior work experience includes medical/surgical nursing, pediatrics, labor and delivery, recovery room, neonatal intensive care and 10 years spent with University Otolaryngology as manager of their allergy office.  She attended St. Joseph Hospital School of Nursing, Providence College, and received specialized training in the field of Child Care Health Consultation from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2006. The most rewarding part of her job is providing evidence-based best practice health and safety standards. Mary enjoys sea kayaking, camping, hiking and spending time with her family and her dog “Lady”. 

For more information, please email Mary at


Children younger than 5 years old (especially those younger than 2) are at high risk of developing serious flu-related complications.


A flu vaccine offers the best defense against flu, and its potentially serious consequences, and can also reduce the spread of flu to others. Getting vaccinated has been shown to reduce flu illnesses, doctor’s visits, missed school days and reduce the risk of flu-related hospitalization and death in children. 

Influenza is dangerous for children...

Flu illness is more dangerous than the common cold for children. Each year, millions of children get sick with seasonal flu; thousands of children are hospitalized, and some children die from flu. Children commonly need medical care because of flu, especially children younger than 5 years old.

Complications from flu among children in this age group can include:

  • Pneumonia: an illness where the lungs get infected and inflamed

  • Dehydration: when a child’s body loses too much water and salts, often because fluid losses are greater than from fluid intake)

  • Worsening of long-term medical problems like heart disease or asthma

  • Brain dysfunction such as encephalopathy

  • Sinus problems and ear infections

  • In rare cases, flu complications can lead to death.


Flu seasons vary in severity, however every year children are at risk.

  • CDC estimates that since 2010, flu-related hospitalizations among children younger than 5 years old have ranged from 7,000 to 26,000 in the United States.

  • While relatively rare, some children die from flu each year. Since 2004-2005, flu-related deaths in children reported to CDC during regular flu seasons have ranged from 37 to 187 deaths. During the 2009 H1N1 pandemic, 358 pediatric flu-related deaths were reported to CDC from April, 2009 to September, 2010. Even though the reported number of deaths during the 2017-2018 flu season was 187, CDC’s mathematical models that account for the underreporting of flu-related deaths in children estimate the actual number was closer to 600. 


Are you interested in a child care health consultant (CCHC) for your school? CCHCs are registered nurses who specialize in children’s health, development and safety in child care settings.


Our CCHC is available to work with individual child care facilities to promote the healthy growth and development of young children and help create safe environments for the children in your care. Through digital, in person or telephone consultations, you would receive guidance information, resources and referrals from evidence based best practice standards. Policies and procedures are developed from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Caring for Our Children: National Health and Safety Standards.

Click here to connect with our Regional Director of Nursing, or fill out the form below. We'd would love to hear from you and learn how we can help!

Thank you for your interest! Our Healthcare Consulting team will be in touch.

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