Parents and Children Can Take Steps to Avoid H1N1

  • Focus on prevention. "Avoid people who are sick," Meurer says. The CDC recommends staying at least 6 feet away from flu sufferers. Keep surfaces such as kitchen counters and toys clean by wiping them down with household disinfectant according to product directions. Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands. Wash your hands frequently or use a hand sanitizer that contains alcohol.

  • Know the swine flu symptoms. The H1N1 virus symptoms are mainly the same as the seasonal flu: fever, cough, sore throat, runny nose, body aches, headaches, chills and fatigue. However, health experts say that H1N1 sufferers also often experience vomiting and diarrhea.

  • Know the swine flu symptoms. The H1N1 virus symptoms are mainly the same as the seasonal flu: fever, cough, sore throat, runny nose, body aches, headaches, chills and fatigue. However, health experts say that H1N1 sufferers also often experience vomiting and diarrhea.

  • Recognize signs of an emergency. Call the doctor immediately if your child has fast or troubled breathing, bluish or gray skin color, won't drink fluids, has severe or persistent vomiting, or will not wake up or interact.
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    li>Make sure young flu victims drink plenty of fluids.

  • Talk to your kids about the swine flu. "Let them know the risk is low and prevention works," Meurer says.

WHAT TO TELL YOUR KIDS

  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth without washing your hands first. Germs spread this way.

  • Stop a germ. Cough into your inner elbow sleeve or into a tissue to prevent spreading the virus on your hands.

  • Learn the best - and most fun - way to wash your hands. The trick is to wash them for at least 20 seconds. How long is that? "Sing 'Happy Birthday to You' to yourself twice while washing," Ulery says.

  • For more fun, you can wash your hands to a new song by Grammy-winner Bill Harley that just happens to be called - what else? - "Wash Your Hands." Download a free copy at www.billharley.com.

  • Flu shots aren't so bad. "When you get an injection, hold still and look away," Meurer says.

Sources: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Journal Sentinel files