Fighting the Flu
As of this writing (January, 2013), the influenza virus (“flu”) appears to be pandemic. Doctors, school administrators, and parents are concerned about the number of children coming down with the flu. Here are a few tips to reduce the risk that you kid will contract the flu this season.
1. Your kids should wash their hands with antibacterial soap often. They should carry antibacterial hand sanitizer with them and use it when they come in contact with public surfaces (i.e., school door knobs, basketballs in the school gym, handles on shopping carts at the mall or grocery store, etc.). They should refrain from touching their eyes or putting their fingers in their mouths or nostrils (where transmission of the virus from fingers to the internal body is more likely).
2. Your kids should refrain from sharing food and beverages. It can take up to three days for someone with the flu virus to manifest symptoms of the flu. Therefore, just because someone looks healthy, that does not mean that you can safely share a root beer float with him or her.
3. If your locale is severely affected by the flu, your kids may wear face masks to reduce the likelihood of breathing in the airborne flu virus. The virus becomes airborne when someone coughs, sneezes, or otherwise ejects virus-laden material into the air.
4. Your kids should get proper nourishment and plenty of rest. Bolstering their immune response increases the likelihood that they will effectively combat flu virus exposure.
5. Your kids should get a flu shot.
6. Your kids should take Tamiflu when they have been exposed to the flu virus.
Given the omnipresence of people ill with the flu, your kids likely have already been or soon will be exposed. While you can’t reasonably control whether or not they are exposed, you can lessen the probably that the exposure will result in your kids contracting the virus.