No one wants to get H1N1 Flu (sometimes referred to as Swine Flu), so let's talk about prevention.
First: The best way to prevent H1N1 Flu is get the vaccine. When the H1N1 Flu vaccine becomes available, get it according to Centers for Disease Control (also called the CDC) guidelines. The highest priorities are pregnant women and caregivers of young babies.
Second: What else can you do to protect yourself and your children from getting sick?
- Wash hands often with soap and water.
- Use of alcohol-based hand cleaners is also effective.
- Avoid touching the eyes, nose or mouth. Germs on the hands can spread into the body this way.
- Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
- Try to avoid unnecessary visits to the ER and urgent care centers because those are the places where you are more likely to be exposed to Swine Flu, if you don't already have it.
Third: What about taking Tamiflu for prevention?
- Tamiflu can be used for prevention following close contact with a person who has Swine Flu.
- However, the CDC only recommends this step for High-Risk patients, mainly those with underlying health problems or under 2 years of age.
- Keep in mind that the Tamiflu is only effective while your child is taking it and ceases once your child stops taking it.
- Your child should only take Tamiflu if your child's physician recommends it.
Fourth: How do you protect others if you have symptoms of H1N1 Flu?
- Cover the nose and mouth with a tissue when coughing or sneezing.
- Wash the hands often with soap and water, especially after coughing or sneezing.
- Limit contact with others to keep from infecting them.
- Mainly stay home when sick. Your child can return to school or child care after the fever is gone for at least 24 hours.
Finally: Try to protect your family from getting H1N1 Flu until the vaccine becomes available. Then get the vaccine and you can stop worrying.
Disclaimer: This information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. It is provided for educational purposes only. You assume full responsibility for how you choose to use this information.
Author and Senior Reviewer: Barton D. Schmitt, M.D. FAAP
Last Review: 9/28/2009
Last Revised: 9/28/2009
Copyright 1994-2009 Barton Schmitt, M.D. Parent Advice Messages.