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CDC to Parents: Swine Flu Shots for All Kids

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The government has issued a warning to parents: as soon as the H1N1 vaccine is available, vaccinate your kids.

swine flu vaccinations mandatory for children

Tom Skinner, a spokesman for the CDC, told the Washington Post, "We're going to continue to stress that the vaccine is the most important thing that parents can do to protect their children."

The CDC says vaccinating against the H1N1 flu should not replace a seasonal flu vaccine -- it should be in addition to it. That flu shot is recommended for those with seriously depressed immune systems or chronic health issues, very young children, people older than 65, and pregnant women.

In addition, the CDC recommends:

All members of the household should wash their hands frequently, using soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Antibacterial soaps are no better than ordinary soaps, since swine flu is caused by a virus, not by bacteria.

Teach children to use tissues to cover the nose and mouth when sneezing or coughing. If tissues are unavailable, the crook of an elbow or a shoulder is a good substitute -- not the hands, which can spread the virus to whatever they touch.

Anyone who becomes sick -- flu symptoms include fever, sore throat, coughing, chills, fatigue, and a runny nose -- should stay home for at least 24 hours after the fever is gone. If symptoms worsen, children should extend their stay at home for seven more days, no matter how soon they feel better. This means home, not just out of school. "Children shouldn't be ... mixing in crowds or going to malls when they are sick," said Lance Chilton, a member of the CDC's advisory committee on immunization practices. And once any member of a household gets sick, all school-age children should remain home for five days.

Children should receive emergency care if their breathing becomes rapid or if they have trouble breathing, develop bluish or gray skin color, severe or persistent vomiting, or if their flu-like symptoms improve but come back with a fever and more severe cough. Resistance to drinking adequate amounts of water, irritability, and a difficulty waking up and interacting with others are also warning signs.

Adults who experience difficulty breathing or shortness of breath, pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen, sudden dizziness, confusion, severe or persistent vomiting, and flu-like symptoms that improve but come back with a fever and more severe cough should also seek emergency care.

For more information, check out these resources:

The official CDC website

The Mayo Clinic's Swine Flu page

U.S. Government's Swine Flu page

National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

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7 comments so far | Post a comment now
Amber August 25, 2009, 6:21 PM

The CDC can urge it all they want to, but I will not be injecting something into my body that hasn’t even had a years worth of testing don it.

Daryl August 25, 2009, 9:17 PM

The testing for the vaccine was 4 days…4 DAYS!!! That’s it. There is no way in hell I’m going to inject my child with something that has not been adequately tested for effectiveness or safety long term…also, by the time the swine flu hits (they’re expecting a big jump this fall), it most likely will have mutated and the vaccine won’t even be that effective. No thank you, I’ll pass!

Pamala August 27, 2009, 12:46 PM

Thanks but no thanks. You’ve got to be seriously insane to think I’d go ahead and give my child a shot that hasn’t even been through half the riggors that the other shots have been through? Don’t think so. I’ll be getting her the regular flu shot and hopefully she’ll be okay.

mercaties August 29, 2009, 2:23 AM

I can not believe that you mothers are willing to let your child get Swine flu because your worried about the side effects from a vaccine! Your child is more likely to get killed in a car accident on the way to school than have a deadly reaction to a vaccine. Well at least your child wont be able to get mine sick. My daughters school sent us letters yesterday saying that any child who will not be getting the swine flu vaccine has to have this form filled out so the school can keep it on file. Why do you think diseases are so ramapnt in this country because there are so many people who wont vaccinate their their kids.

Swine Flu In India October 1, 2009, 3:11 AM

it is very important for all persons to recive an h1n1 influenza vaccine.this goes esp for those with chronic health problems and for children.seniors and children are more at risk from the H1N1 Swine Flu virus infection and pregnant women as well.

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