H1N1 Virus (Swine Flu) Prevention and Survival Tips

Typically, flu infections cause mild disease in children, but children under 5 years old are more likely to have serious illness than older children. Although rare, severe respiratory illness (pneumonia) and deaths have been reported with flu infections in children. Flu infections tend to be more severe in children with chronic medical conditions.

In addition to regular healthy habits, these will help prevent the spread of H1N1:

  • Teach your children to stay at least six feet away from people who are sick.
  • Children who are sick should stay home from school and daycare and stay away from other people until their symptoms are gone.
  • In communities where H1N1 (swine flu) has occurred, stay away from shopping malls, movie theaters, or other places where there are large groups of people.

If your child comes in contact with someone with H1N1 (swine flu), ask your doctor if he or she should receive antiviral medicines to prevent getting sick from H1N1 (swine flu).

Preparing for an epidemic or pandemic

Think ahead about what services may be disrupted in your area. Possibilities include:

  • Services provided by hospitals and other health care facilities, banks, stores, restaurants, government offices, and post offices. If your family members depend on community services, develop an alternate plan.
  • Being able to work may be difficult or impossible. Find out if you can work from home in the event your place of business is closed.
  • Schools/daycare centers may be closed for a period of time. Alternate childcare arrangements may be necessary. Plan learning and recreation activities for your children at home. Please do not use this time to take your child to recreational places such as parks, "play spaces," zoo, or museums -- or other places where large crowds may gather. The purpose of these type of closings is to limit your child's risk of exposure.
  • Transportation services may be disrupted.

Stock a supply of water and food. During a pandemic you may not be able to get to a store. Even if you can get to a store, it may be out of supplies. Public waterworks services may also be interrupted. Stocking supplies can be useful in other types of emergencies, such as power outages and disasters. Store foods that:

  • are nonperishable (will keep for a long time) and don't require refrigeration
  • are easy to prepare in case you are unable to cook
  • require little or no water, so you can conserve water for drinking

Find more preparation ideas at Pandemic Flu Planning Checklist for Individuals and Families.

Stay informed. Knowing the facts is the best preparation. Identify sources you can count on for reliable information. If a pandemic occurs, having accurate and reliable information will be critical.

Sources include:
List of site prepared by CDC
State and local health departments

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