Children younger than five years are at higher risk for swine flu complications and severe illness. The risk for swine flu complications and severe illness is higher in children younger than 5 years with chronic health problems.
Steps to prepare for flu
- Monitor your well child’s health for fever and other symptoms of swine flu.
- If any member of the family is sick, keep your school aged children at home for 5 days from the time the concerned person came down with flu.
- If your child becomes sick or their school is closed, plan and arrange for child care at home.
- Make a separate sick room in the house for care of any sick family member.
- Consult your doctor if your child is sick with flu like illness.
- Consult your doctor to know if your child is at high risk of serious diseases from flu. If yes, then ask your doctor about the precautions you need to take to protect them from flu.
Children at high risk of serious disease from the flu
- Children less than 5 years of age (especially children less than 2 years old)
- Children with chronic health problems such as asthma, heart disease, diabetes.
Prevent your child from getting H1N1 flu
Teach your child to carry out the following steps regularly to avoid getting H1N1 flu. Children learn by seeing, so set a good example by doing all of this yourself.
- Wash your hands regularly with soap and water for 20 seconds. This is one of the best way to prevent many common infections. If soap and water is not available use an alcohol-based hand gel to clean hands.
- Use tissues to cover mouth and nose while coughing or sneezing. Dispose the used tissue in trash as soon as possible. If tissue is not available cough or sneeze into your elbow.
- Do not touch your eyes, nose and mouth as infection spreads this way.
- Clean all surfaces (such as door handles, remote control, hand rails and computer keyboards) often to remove the germs with a household disinfectant.
- Do not go too near a person with flu like illness. Maintain at least a distance of six feet from people who are sick.
- Stay away from sick people until they are better. If possible make a separate sick room at home if someone in the household has flu like illness.
If your child has flu like illness --to avoid spreading the infection make the child stay at home from school and limit contact with others. Your child should stay at home for at least 24 hours after his or her fever resolves (i.e. there are no signs of a fever, without the use of fever-reducing medications). Vaccinate yourself and your child for Swine flu (when vaccines are available).
Care of a sick child
- Consult your doctor if your child’s flu like illness (fever and/or cough, cold, vomiting) worries you.
- Make your child drink plenty of water and other clear fluids, and take plenty of rest.
- If your child is less than 5 years old (if especially younger than 2 years) or has a chronic health problem such as asthma, heart disease, diabetes, and becomes sick with flu like illness; consult your doctor.
Consult your doctor immediately if your child has any of the warning or emergency signs mentioned below:
- rapid breathing or difficulty in breathing
- blue skin color
- Not taking adequate amount of fluids
- Lethargic, not waking up or interacting poorly
- Very irritable or inconsolable even on holding
- Recurrent vomiting
- Recurrence of flu-like symptoms after improvement and the fever and cough are worse
- Fever with rash
- Not eating anything
- No tears on crying
Care of children at high risk of serious disease from th...
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