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Help Your Child Escape the Flu!

Every year flu season comes and goes and some years you and your family get luckier than others. Why take the gamble? With school, work, activities and everything else that keeps us busy we do not have time to be sick! With flu season coming up we thought we would share a few simple tips on how to increase you and your child's chances of escaping the flu!

1)    Vaccination is key! If your child is under 6 months of age, they are too young to be vaccinated. This makes it more difficult to keep them healthy during flu season. What you can do is build up an environment of immunity for them. If you and all members of your family who are of age get vaccinated your child will have less of a risk of contracting the flu. 

 

2)    Healthy Habits Help! Practice common health habits like, covering your nose and mouth with a tissue when sneezing or coughing, thoroughly washing your hands, and trying to avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth are all great ways to keep the virus from spreading and keeping you healthy. A few other tips...

  • If you do not have a tissue nearby, avoid sneezing into your hand. Try sneezing into your elbow and upper arm preventing the spreading of germs.
  • Doctors are recommending children wash their hands vigorously as soon as they return from school as well as washing their hands at school after recess and lunch periods.

3)    Watch For Symptoms! If you notice symptoms of the flu it is best to try and catch them early on so you or your child's condition does not worsen. Symptoms include, fever, headache, tiredness, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, or body aches. Since your child may not be able to express their discomfort to you and some symptoms are not easily recognized so watch for a fever, respiratory changes, or a change in your child's responsiveness.  If any of these occur contact your child's physician.

 

Because seasonal flu viruses change every year, the vaccine is updated annually. So even if you or your children got a flu vaccine last year, you both still need to get a flu vaccine this season to remain protected. If October and November slip by, and you or your children have not received your vaccinations, get vaccinated in December or later. This year there are two types of vaccinations.  Both the regular influenza vaccination and the swine flu vaccination have been recommended by doctors.   

Getting your family vaccinated is simple! Primary health care professionals, many local hospitals, clinics, pharmacies, retail stores and even some employers hold vaccination clinics. To find a clinic nearby, visit http://flucliniclocator.org orhttp://aafa.org/flu.cfm. Hopefully these tips will help you and your little ones have a happy and healthy year by escaping the flu!  Want more info? A great website to check out for the prevention of childhood influenza is http://www.preventchildhoodinfluenza.org/index.php .

 

 

 

 

Resources:

http://www.preventchildhoodinfluenza.org/index.php

http://pediatrics.about.com/od/kidsandtheflu/a/04_flu_yng_kids.htm

http://www.cdc.gov/flu/protect/children.htm#special