swine flu

The Swine Flu in the media is freaking our kids out. I was just on Skype yesterday with my virtual assistant Jennifer of Eco-Office Gals and she told me her son had a fever and thought he had the Swine Flu. This morning my son had a runny nose and he asked me if he would die from the Swine Flu. I next to never let my children be in the room when the news is on or when I think they are listening but even when I try to shield their tiny ears from news that is scary…they seem to hear.

As an educator I worry about our children having to hear and worry about stuff like this. Is it necessary to keep reporting every case of the Swine Flu? The pharmaceutical industry is raking in the dough on medicine to help those that get it so I guess the flu is doing good things for our economy but as adults lets take some precautions and protect our children not only from this flu but from being worried and scared. Unnecessary fear and anxiety is not healthy for young children so if your child is worried talk to them honestly and don’t make them feel silly. The words they are hearing adults talk about are scary. For tips on helping children cope with the fear and anxiety visit : National Mental Health Information Center or Mental Health America.

How about taking some necessary precautions that we all should be taking regardless of whether there was the Swine Flu or not. Even the CDC gives some of these simple tips and really they’re common sense but does your child or yourself take these steps and how about your child’s school or provider?

1.  Wash your hands and you don’t need to use anti-bacterial soap (in my opinion). Read my article about ways you can stay healthy without the anti-bacterial soap. Make sure you wash for at least 20 seconds and practice this with your children. Teachers just need to take more time and help the children wash for long periods of time. Role model this for your children without causing them to become germ freaks!

2.  Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze but not with your hands. Holey Moley is that annoying and then someone touches a door knob. Use a tissue and throw it away and then wash your hands or cough or sneeze into the sleeve of your shirt.

3. Stay home if you’re sick. Yes we all need to work but I’d rather not work next to a sick person and don’t find it fair that my kids get sick from other children because mom or dad sends them on Motrin to mask the high fever. Rude.

I was happy to see that CBS News reported some information on what parents can do if parents suspect that our children have the Swine Flu. I liked how it was reported that people die every year from the flu, not just the Swine Flu and the symptoms are similar to other symptoms and infections.  ABC News also did a report on the myths and whether we should be concerned and basically it left me shrugging my shoulders because we really don’t know yet but the word “emergency” is scary.

So as a parent do we over react? What will you do? I know I’m not turning on the T.V. while my kids are awake because they don’t  need to be having nightmares or worrying about this.


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