Simple ways to protect your child from swine flu

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Washington, Sept 20 (ANI): As swine flu continues to infect school kids, parental anxieties have stirred up with each one trying to be cautious enough to avoid the spread of HINI virus that has caused severe illness and deaths worldwide.

Dr Galit Holzmann-Pazgal assistant professor of pediatrics at The University of Texas Medical School at Houston suggest parents can ease their anxieties by arming themselves with facts about H1N1 and using some commonsense tips.

Wash your hands after you touch...and Twitter

Washing your hands is the single-most important step to prevent the spread of H1N1. The virus is spread by droplets from coughs and sneezes as well as touching hands and objects contaminated with these droplets such as each other's phones, computer keyboards, iPods and video games.

Know the symptoms

Main symptoms of swine flu are fatigue and fever. Others include body aches, runny or stuffy nose, cough, sore throat and fever, headache, chills, diarrhea and vomiting

Know when it is an emergency

Call your doctor if your child has symptoms including rapid breathing, not drinking enough, fussiness or if symptoms improve and then return with fever and worsened cough. With mild cases, call your doctor first

If your child just feels lousy, and doesn't have a high fever or trouble breathing, call your pediatrician instead of heading to the hospital.

Keep the kids home

Keep your sick child at home for at least 24 hours after his fever is gone (without the use of a fever-reducing medicine) except to get medical care or for other necessities, according to the CDC.

Encourage her to cover her mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing, throw away used tissue in the waste basket, and to clean her hands every time she coughs or sneezes.

Start the vaccinations

Federal officials expect release of the H1N1 vaccine in October. The vaccine may require a second shot given three weeks after the first. It may take another two weeks before the vaccine fully protects the body against the flu. Recent studies showed that one shot may protect against H1N1, stretching the supply of the vaccine.

Until the H1N1 shot is ready, Pazgal advises families to go ahead and get the "regular" flu shot, which protects against the seasonal flu and is already available. That way, your children won't get the flu twice in one season. (ANI)

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