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The Informed Parent

Swine Flu Scare

by John H. Samson, M.D., F.A.A.P.
Published on Jun. 22, 2009

The recent Swine Flu scare brought good public health practices to the forefront; wash hands, cover noses and mouth when sneezing or coughing. These are certainly important. But it was also made clear that during times of high disease transmission, decreased contact with sick people was imperative.

We must exercise caution at all times. Yet, I see families act in a cavalier fashion when it comes to disease exposure. Our children live in a constant epidemic zone for viral and bacterial disease; i.e. day care and school. If we let our defenses down our children are subjected to unnecessary disease exposure. Letting our children attend day care or school when they are sick turns the facility into a disease transfer center.

Let’s use reasonable caution, not only when we are alarmed by an announced pandemic but during everyday life.

Children constantly exist in a viral/bacterial “state of epidemic”, no matter what the season, because of school and day care centers. We can reduce the risk of spreading infection if we don’t send sick children to these sites.

Remember, we can’t let selfish reasons cause us to send our sick children to facilities that allow the spread of infection to many other children.

From the standpoint of isolating sick children, let’s pretend that the Swine Flu pandemic is still present, and follow common sense and unselfish good public health practices. KEEP YOUR SICK CHILDREN HOME UNTIL THEY ARE NOT CONTAGIOUS!

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