Wednesday, June 17, 2009

How to talk to your child about swine flu

Yesterday my girl came home from school and said.....

"Mummy, teacher said if we get sick we will die. She told us about a virus. She asked whether anyone had gone anywhere for the school holidays. She said if we are sick we cannot go anywhere. We must stay at home. We must stay at home for 7 days. Some of my friends went to Australia and America during the school holidays. They played at the playground with other children there. Will they get the germs? Teacher said we must not go to crowded places like supermarket so that we won't get the virus. How come we still went to the supermarket?"

I guess the teacher had been talking to the children about swine flu. I wonder how much my girl understood. I just let her ask her questions and answered her the best that I knew.

I told her that staying at home for 7 days is called home quarantine and it is only a safety precaution to make sure that you don't pass any germs to anyone if you are not feeling well. It does not mean that you will die.

I searched the internet for resources on how to talk to young children about swine flu and found these:

Advice for Parents on Talking to Children About Novel H1N1 Flu (Formerly Swine Flu) Concerns from Centers for Decease Control and Prevention (The article mentions that we should Focus on what your child can do to avoid getting novel H1N1 flu. For example, they should wash their hands frequently with soap and water for 20 seconds (long enough for them to sing the “Happy Birthday” song twice). I find this suggestion very useful for my 5 year old who usually just brushes his hands briefly over the soap, flush with water and yells "Finished Mummy!")

Talking to Children About Swine Flu (H1N1): A Parent Resource from National Association of School Psychologists

Scary swine flu? Kids can be fearful of 'invisible' illness from (Here, it is mentioned that with young children, we should keep it simple and say something like "Some people have gotten sick with a flu you get from contact with someone who has it. Mom and Dad are going to make sure you're safe. We'll take care of you. " )

Meanwhile here are some other useful resources and links on the H1N1 Flu Pandemic: - the one stop access to U.S. Government H1N1, avian and pandemic flu information.

Questions and Answers on H1N1 Flu (Swine Flu) and You from CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

Don't be compacent. Educate yourself and your family about swine flu. The World Health Organization has declared a global H1N1 flu pandemic on 11 June, 2009.

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1 comment:

  1. how come we still go to supermarket? i need an answer to that too coz i still go to the supermarket... haih..


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