Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Super Snack

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Swine Flu: A guide for parents

The swine flu, also known as the H1N1 virus, is all over the news. A string of cases have been reported across the United States, as well as across the globe, with Mexico the hardest hit country, so far.

It’s easy to freak out amid these disturbing reports, but the truth is you’re probably doing everything you need to do to protect your family.

“Parents should be aware of what public health officials are saying, and then just be extra vigilant about the precautions they’d normally take to prevent the spread of germs,” says Joseph Bocchini, M.D., chair of the American Academy of Pediatrics committee on infectious diseases and pediatrics chair of the Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center in Shreveport.

No. 1 on the list: washing hands more frequently. So take a deep breath,
put down the surgical mask, and read on for all information you need to know.

Signs and symptoms
Indicators of swine flu are not unlike those for regular old run-of-the-mill flu. What makes this virus different from typical flu is that more serious complications, such as pneumonia, might occur more often. Also, says Bocchini, this is a new strain of flu, and no one in the population would be expected to be immune.

One of the biggest concerns for officials is simply that a lot of people could get sick at the same time. Take heart in knowing that our government health officials are doing everything they can to make sure the country’s prepared. In the mean time, your job is to know how to spot the signs. If you or your child are experiencing any of the following, call your doctor. He or she may want you to come in and be tested.
• fever (above 38° C/100.4 °F for babies 3 months and younger, and 38.3° C/101.1°F for everyone
else), plus
. • cough
. • sore throat
. • intense body aches
. • headache
. • chills
. • fatigue

Some people have reported diarrhea and vomiting, too. Pregnant women are at extra risk for complications even with regular flu, according to Bocchini, and small children have a higher rate of hospitalization. Both expectant women and moms of kids under 2 should be extra careful about taking action quickly

How to talk to your kids about It
As always, you’ll want to explain to kids that germs
can make us sick, and that’s why it’s important to
wash your hands. You can say, “Soap and water rinse
away the little buggers so they can’t make us feel
If they’ve caught wind of swine flu in particular, it’s
important to project an image of calm (even if you’re
internally flipping out) and make them feel safe.
Small kids should be soothed with a simple
explanation that there are different kinds of flu, and
we should just keep up with washing up. Older kids,
who may be scared but hide it, can be given a few
more details but should still be reassured that their
parents and our health officials are on top of it.

(CNN, Parenting .com)