A doctor’s sound advice

September 5, 2009

How to Talk to Your Child About the Swine Flu
Ask your child what she knows about swine flu and what she is concerned about. Explain what the flu is, but keep it simple. Tell her that if she gets the flu, you will take good care of her.
Let her know that most of the cases have been mild and that most people have gotten better in a few days.
Make sure your child washes her hands frequently and for the proper length of time. Dr. Richard Besser, acting director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, recommends singing “Happy Birthday” while children wash their hands to make sure they’ve scrubbed long enough to get rid of germs. If your child doesn’t have access to soap and water, an alcohol-based hand sanitizer will do.
Tell your child to cover her mouth with a tissue or her arm when she coughs to prevent the spread of germs.
Tell her to avoid touching her eyes, nose or mouth. That’s how germs are spread.
If your child is worried because her school is closed, reassure her that it will reopen in a few days. Schools shut down to protect other kids from getting sick.


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