Flu Season is Upon Us… Are You Ready?

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My Family and the Flu Season

I’d like to start off by saying that I usually don’t get the flu shot every year because I hate needles and always felt the needle was worse than the flu. I got it when I was pregnant both times but other than that, I risked it. My kids and I usually get the “stomach flu” which isn’t really the flu at all anyways. However, this year is different.

With H1N1 spreading around along with regular Flu, people are getting worried and becoming extra cautious. I don’t think we need to panic but I do think we need to take this seriously. H1N1 is new and we aren’t fully sure how it can affect us.

In our family and community we are using hand sanitizer whenever washing hands isn’t plausible or in areas where there are lots of people. For example when we enter playgroup or our Girl Guide meeting (I’m a leader) we use hand sanitizer. It’s also good for after coughing or sneezing if getting to a sink is hard.

My kids and I have received the H1N1 flu shot and my husband will be getting it this month. My youngest actually has to go back for her second shot too. We’ll probably get the regular flu shot too. None of us are high risk but I plan on getting pregnant again very soon and I wouldn’t want to risk a baby or my kids.

Are You in the know?

Ontarians, you can find updated flu clinic information, general flu information and an influenza assessment tool at the Ministry of Health website.

What to Do When Your Child is Sick with Influenza

1. Treat your child’s fever

  • Take off heavy clothing and blankets.
  • Dress the child in lightweight clothing and keep the room temperature at 20°C (68°F).
  • Give acetaminophen or ibuprofen for fever and muscle pain in the dose recommended on the package (unless your doctor says otherwise).

Note : Do NOT give acetylsalicylic acid (ASA or Aspirin®), or any cold medicine that has ASA, to children or teenagers under the age of 18.

2. Treat your child’s other flu symptoms

  • Encourage your child to get plenty of rest.
  • Use salt-water nose drops to treat a stuffy nose.
  • Ask your pharmacist about any over-the-counter medicines for cough.

3. Protect others from flu

  • Keep your child at home until his/her fever has been absent for at least 24 hours and he or she is feeling well enough to resume normal activities. It’s important for your child to stay home if there’s fever so that the virus doesn’t spread to other children.
  • Your child can return to school 24 hours after the fever has resolved and he/she is feeling well enough to get back to normal activities.

Call Telehealth Ontario at 1-866-797-0000 or your health care provider if your child is under age 5 and develops flu symptoms. The risk of complications from flu is higher for children under age 2.

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