Fight Flu Fear!

5 Points for Parents to Consider

  1. As things stand now, the vast majority of children who develop flu-like symptoms this Fall will have a few miserable days, and nothing more. And those days are best spent at homeā€“not in the ER or a doctor’s office.
  2. If you are worried, call Dr. O first. Don’t take your child in to the ER without calling. Two reasons: Your child may not have H1N1 but could become exposed by being around sick children. And after several hours of waiting, you are still likely to be told the basics-plenty of fluids, rest and dose-appropriate acetaminophen for a fever. After all, it is still the flu we are talking about.
  3. Remove the term H1N1 from the equation. If your child had the regular flu, would you take him/her to the hospital? If the answer is no, then don’t take him/her to the hospital now.
  4. Yes, hearing between 30,000 and 90,000 people could die from H1N1 is scary, but keep in mind-around 40,000 people die from the regular or seasonal flu every year. The numbers may not be that much different, yet there is not panic about the regular flu. As things look now, H1N1 is causing only mild to moderate illness, not the widespread deaths people are worried about.
  5. There are some children who should be seen by their pediatrician right away. Call Dr. O if:
    1. A baby younger than 12 weeks has a fever greater than 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit
    2. A child older than 12 weeks has a fever for three days or any fever over 103 degrees Fahrenheit or higher
    3. A child’s fever returns after a 12-24 hour time period
    4. A child is not passing urine or making tears for more than six hours
    5. A child does not smile or show interest in playing for several hours
    6. A child cannot speak while trying to breathe
    7. Has a blue or dark purple color to the nail beds, lips or gums
    8. Is not responding to you because he/she is too tired or weak
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