Sunday, May 3, 2009

Don't Panic! It's just the flu.

So much commotion over the flu outbreak these past few days has prompted school and day care closures across the state. Parents are unsure what is the real story. What do they need to know that is useful? Remember, this is the flu, not the plague, simply the flu. Take the usual precautions you would during the regular flu season. Wash your hands. That should be written over every sink in your home. Teach you family how to wash hands effectively. Teach children to sing the Happy Birthday Song while they are washing. This is the time needed to take care of those nasty bugs. Teach everyone to sneeze and cough into their bent arm. Teach people not to drink or eat after someone else has. Teens especially share sodas and snacks and think little of the gens they pass on. No "want a lick?" sharing! Anyone who has the flu, unless they have an underlying medical condition, will be told to go home, rest, drink plenty of fluids and take Tylenol to control the fever and aches. Hospitalization is rare for the flu and it usually goes away in 7 to 10 days.
There is no need to buy masks and have everyone look like robbers or surgeons! You don't need to avoid crowded places if you are a healthy person.
Be sure your children understand this is not a disease that will kill them! This is a great opportunity to review good hygiene with them while you all are trapped at home. While you are at it, how about just spendind some time talking, with no electronics. You may surprised how intelligent and interesting they have become over the past few years! For more information on the flu try the CDC link in my information section. Be healthy!

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