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Vincent Iannelli, M.D.

Swine Flu Worries

By May 1, 2009

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Are your kids worried about swine flu?

When something, like the swine influenza A (H1N1) virus infections, is on the news a lot, special attention must be paid to our children to help them cope and understand what is happening.

So far, it seems like many parents are more worried than their kids. In the face of school closings in Texas, many of these kids were reported to be coughing and making pig noises. Others could be seen happily leaving school as their parents tried to make them wear a mask. Since swine flu infections in the United States have been mild, it is not surprising that kids such as these aren't worried.

We should maybe all take a cue from our kids and try not to worry too much about the swine influenza A (H1N1) virus. After all, infections have been mild, flu viruses tend not to spread well in the summer, we have swine flu treatments (Tamiflu and Relenza), and if it comes back in another wave next winter, we will likely already have a swine flu vaccine ready.

If your kids are worried, turn off the TV and reassure them with some of these points. Keep in mind that rushing your child to the pediatrician for every cough or sniffle to check for swine flu isn't going to do much to help your child's anxiety.

Related:
Swine Flu Symptoms
Swine Flu Map
Swine Flu
Talking to Kids About the News

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