Happy National Children’s Health Month

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Since October is National Children’s Health Month we wanted to pass along some tips to help prevent the spread of the flu virus. Remember to always use common sense to keep yourself and others from getting sick this season.

• Wash hands frequently. Hands should be washed with soap and warm water (not hot) for at least 20 seconds when dirty, before eating and after toilet use. Suggestion: Sing Happy Birthday to yourself twice. Dry hands with a paper towel and use it to turn off the water tap and to turn the doorknob. Use alcohol based waterless cleanser between soap and water washings.

• Keep hands off the face. Avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth to prevent germs from entering your body.

• Avoid crowded conditions. They are ideal for the spread of the flu. Also, call your doctor first with non-emergent issues before going to his office or the emergency room. This reduces the risk of getting or spreading the flu.

• Cover the nose and mouth with a tissue when coughing or sneezing. Do not use your hands. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it and then wash your hands. If tissues are not cough or sneeze into the inside of the elbow.

• Stay home if sick. Do not return to school, day care, or work until at least 24 hours after no fever is present without the use of a fever reducer.

• Avoid contact with sick people. The CDC recommends staying at least six feet away from a sick person.

• Regularly clean toys and common areas (phones, remote controls, doorknobs and other handles, countertops.) Use a household disinfectant.

• Practice good healthy habits. Get plenty of rest, exercise, fluids, eat nutritious food and manage your stress.

• Follow public health advice regarding school closures, avoiding crowds and other social distancing measures.

Seek emergency medical care if the child:

• has difficulty breathing, fast breathing or chest pain

• has bluish or gray skin color or purple or blue discoloration of the lips

• has severe or persistent vomiting and is unable to keep liquids down

• has signs of dehydration (dizziness when standing, absence of urination, a lack of tears in crying infants)

• has seizures (i.e. uncontrolled convulsions)

• becomes confused, is not waking up or interacting

• has a high fever (higher than 100.4°F for infants under 2 months and higher than 102°F for other children)

• has a fever with a rash

flu symptoms improve but then returns with a fever or worse cough

• has other health conditions (heart or lung disease, diabetes, or asthma) and has flu like symptoms

This tip sheet was compiled from information borrowed from Advocates for Children of New Jersey website

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