As the new school year is well underway, the second wave of swine flu (H1N1 virus) has become a major concern for health officials, school administrators, teachers, and parents. It was at the end of the previous academic year that the flu first struck with vengeance, and caused schools across the country to shut their doors as they tried to quell its spread.
The biggest fear and danger with the H1N1 virus is that it has hit school-aged children the hardest. So, what can you and your children do to stave off the flu?
Practice Good Hygiene
- Wash Hands (and send kids with bottles of sanitizer in addition to their other office supplies)
- Cover Coughs & Sneezes (NOT with your hand, but with a tissue or arm)
Stay Home if Sick
- Keep kids home if they are sick, ESPECIALLY with a high fever, vomiting, or diarrhea
- Ensure kids are fever-free for at least 24 hours (WITHOUT medication) before returning to school
- Do NOT go to the emergency room if you think you or your child has a case of the flu (you are likely to catch it while at the ER); call your doctor or a health hotline
- Get kids immunized against the seasonal flu as soon as the vaccine becomes available this fall
- Keep your eyes and ears open about the H1N1 vaccination, which is currently being tested
Check with your local health officials and health care professionals should you have any questions or concerns about the H1N1 flu in your community.