Seasonal and Novel H1N1 Flu:
A Guide for Parents
What should I use for Hand Cleaning?
Washing hands with soap and running water (for as long as it takes to sing the "Happy Birthday" song twice) will help protect against many germs. When soap and running water are not available, wipes or gels with alcohol in them can be used (the gels should be rubbed into your hands until they are dry)*.
What can I do if my child gets sick?
If your child is 5 years or older and otherwise healthy and gets flu-like symptoms, inlcuding a fever/and or cough, consult your doctor as needed and make sure your child gets plenty of rest and drinks enough fluids.
If your child is younger than 5, or of any age and has a medical condition like asthma, diabetes, or a neurologic problem and develops flu-like symptoms, including a fever and/or cough, call your doctor or get medical attention. This is because younger children and children who have chronic medical conditions (like asthma and diabetes) may be at higher risk of serious complications from influenza infection, including the new H1N1. Talk to your doctor early if you are worried about your child's illness.
What if my child seems very sick?
Even children who have always been healthy before or had the flu before can get a severe case of flu.
Call or take your child to a doctor right away if your child of any age has:
Fast breathing or trouble breathing
Bluish or gray skin color
Not drinking enough fluids
Severe or persistent vomiting
Not waking up or not interacting
Being so irritable that the child does not want to be held
Flu-like symptoms improve but then return with fever and worse cough
Has other conditions (like heart or lung disease, diabetes, or asthma) and develops flu-like symptoms, including a fever and/or cough.
Can my child go to school, day care, or camp if he or she is sick?
No. Your child should stay home to rest and to avoid giving the flu to other children.
When can my child go back to school after having the flu?
Keep your child home from school, day care, or camp for at least 24 hours after the fever is gone. (Their fever should be gone without them having taken a fever-reducing medicine.) A fever is defined as 100 degrees F or 37.8 degrees C.
*Though the scientific evidence is not as extensive as that on hand washing and alchohol-base sanitizers, other hand sanitizers that do not contain alchohol may be useful for killing flu germs on hands in settings where alcohol-based products are prohibited.
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Copyright Info: The information on this page was originally published by the CDC