Sensible and Simple Swine Flu Precautions for you and your Children

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Most schools and households are already taking precautionary measures against contracting swine flu. We even receive messages on how to prevent and take care to guard against swine flu. However, here’s an article that will separate facts from the myths surrounding Swine Flu.

One word of advice though, don’t panic. Just follow these simple steps and guard your family against swine flu.

  1. Cover your mouth and nose while sneezing. Request others in your family and friends to do the same. Teach the children also the same. The H1N1 virus can travel through the tiny droplets of your saliva when you sneeze and enter a healthy body via nose or mouth.
  2. Use a disposable tissue instead of a handkerchief. And dispose it off in the dustbin after use. Always keep tissues in your child’s handbag or school bag.
  3. Always avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth at all times. Those are the main entryways for the virus into your body.
  4. Wash your hands with alcohol based solutions. Hand sanitizers are recommended.
  5. Viruses can survive on inert objects like phone, chair, laptop, etc. Wash your hands frequently.
  6. In general stay away from people who are ill. If you live in the same house as the ill person, stay 6-10 feet away. Isolate the person in a room till he/she gets better, if possible.

What should you do if your child has flu like symptoms?

  • In children H1N1 symptoms are similar to the symptoms of common flu. So if your child has fever, body ache and a runny or stuffy nose, call the paediatrician.
  • The following symptoms should be treated as an emergency:
  • Fast breathing or difficulty breathing
  • Not urinating
  • Not responding to calls
  • Inability to wake up after being called out
  • Not drinking enough fluids
  • Bluish or greyish skin
  • Recurring symptoms of common cold again and again
  • Vomiting and/or diarrhoea
  • Acute abdominal pain

What is the treatment for H1N1?

Most healthy children fight off the virus and get better within a week. In any case, you should keep your sick child at home and treat him like you would for any other common flu. There is no cure for H1N1 but antiviral drugs help manage the symptoms.

However for the antiviral drugs to work, the treatment needs to begin within 48 hours of the first symptom appearing.