Regular flu vaccines are available now (Sept ’09), but you’ve probably heard that the swine flu vaccine has not yet been released. Here’s what to do now:
1) Vaccinate yourself and your kids. This will mean probably 3 (or 4, if your child is under 9 yrs old) shots for each of you? Why? The strains that cause the flu are different, thus different shots are required to protect you. Donna Barsky, D.Ph., R.Ph. and owner of TexasStar Pharmacy in Plano says, “Currently, we are giving the regular influenza (flu) immunizations to all who need. The Swine Flu Vaccine is arrival sometime mid-October and at this time they are telling us to assume a two-shot series separated by 3 weeks.”
2) Make yourself a Flu Combat Kit. See our example on Build a Flu Combat Kit for Under $20, which also has links to other prevention products.
3) Utilize proper hygiene. Wash your hands frequently, and carry hand sanitizer with you for use when warm, soapy water is not available. Carry wipes, too, and wipe off areas that your children come in contact with before they handle them (like a grocery cart’s handle).
4) Teach your children – and yourself – to sneeze and cough into their sleeve/elbow. This is one my children are being taught at school now (thankfully), and the first time I saw it, I thought – wow, what a great idea! So simple, yet so effective. (If you’re worried about proper technique, you could buy a $30 video, or you could just pretend the crook of your arm is a handkerchief. It’s that easy.)
Here are some other resources / tips for you to check out:
Swine Flu: 11 Things You Need to Know
Key Facts about Swine Flu
The Differences between Cold and Flu Symptoms
UT Southwestern Medical Center
Keep Up to Date on Flu Stats – Updated Weekly by the CDC
Dallas School Districts Gear Up for Flu Season