Thursday, September 17, 2009

Seasonal Flu and H1N1

The start of this year’s flu season (typically November through April) includes the extra challenge of protecting your child from H1N1 (also known as swine flu) as well as seasonal flu. Getting the facts about both kinds of flu will help ease your anxiety, but more importantly, will help you protect your child. The pediatric experts at Dayton Children’s want to give you  accurate, up-to-date information on both H1N1 and the seasonal flu.

Prevention and treatment is the same for both H1N1 and the seasonal flu. Fortunately, the things you can do to prevent getting or spreading the flu are easy, everyday activities.

Six ways to prevent the spread of flu:
1. Wash hands often. Use soap and water for 15-20 seconds-about as long as it takes to sing Happy Birthday twice. Alcohol-based hand cleaners are OK if soap and water are not available.
2. Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue. If children don’t have a tissue, teach them to cough or sneeze into their shirtsleeve.
3. Keep sick children at home including out of school or day care until they are better-usually seven days after the illness starts.
4. Teach children to stay at least six feet away from people who are sick. Avoid crowds and public places.
5. Teach children not to touch their eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread this way.
6. Eat healthy and find healthy ways to deal with stress and anxiety.

Dayton Children's has made it easy for parents to access additional flu prevention tips. Here are a few resources that you can share with friends and family to help keep kids healthy this flu season:

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