Say “Boo!” to the Flu
There are lots of things you worry about for your kids. By learning some simple flu prevention steps, the flu will not have to be one of your top concerns. To help your family have a healthier flu season, Families Fighting Flu (a group of parents who have lost a child to the flu), Visiting Nurse Associations of America (the largest non-profit network of flu immunizers) and The Clorox Company teamed up to say“boo!” to the flu.
Families Fighting Flu (FFF) was established for the children who die each year due to the influenza virus (commonly called “the flu”). Each family has experienced first-hand the death of a child due to the flu or has had a child experience severe medical complications from the flu. Our non-profit organization, made up of families and health care practitioners, is dedicated to educating people about the severity of influenza and the importance of vaccinating children against the flu every year.
Get Vaccinated Now!
In February 2008, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention expanded the flu
vaccination recommendations to include all children from 6 months through 18 years
old. In addition, household contacts (moms, dads, brothers, sisters, nannies, etc.) of
children younger than six months old should be vaccinated because while children
younger than six months cannot be given the flu vaccine, they are the pediatric group at
highest risk of flu complications.
Visiting Nurse Associations of America and Families Fighting Flu urge you to get your
family vaccinated in October and November, before flu activity peaks. If you do not get
vaccinated early, you can still get vaccinated late in the season, in December, January
To find a Say “Boo!” to the Flu vaccination event in your area:
What is the Flu?
Influenza, or “the flu,” is an easy-to-spread viral infection. The symptoms include high
fever, chills, cough, aches and fatigue. Influenza is a serious infection. In fact, it is
estimated that each year in the United States more than 20,000 children younger than
five years old are hospitalized due to the flu.
It can be hard to tell the difference between the flu and a common cold. Symptoms are
similar, but they are generally more severe with the flu and can also result in other
serious health problems. Either way, you should see a healthcare provider to determine
if you have the flu or a cold.
What You Can Do
Once your family is vaccinated, make sure you still use these tricks to make the flu
virus too scared to hang around your house:
1. Sing & Scrub: Make sure kids wash their hands the right way. They should wash
frequently with warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds (the time it takes to
sing the “Happy Birthday” song twice).
2. Do the Elbow Cough: Teach kids to cough into elbows, not hands, where they are
more likely to spread bacteria and viruses through touch.
3. Disinfect Hot Spots: Kids can touch up to 300 surfaces in 30 minutes, so be sure
to disinfect the surfaces kids touch most frequently — like doorknobs, light
switches, faucets or toys. Use a disinfectant approved to kill cold and flu viruses.
4. Follow Good Health Guidelines: Eat right, exercise and get plenty of sleep to help
boost your body’s ability to fight the effects of colds and the flu.
Where are the Flu Viruses in Your House?
A recent study found a strain of the flu virus was present on 60 percent of common
household items in homes with just one sick child. The top five most virus-contaminated
1. Phone receiver
2. Refrigerator, microwave and door handles
3. Kitchen faucet
4. Light switch
5. TV remote
A simple cough or sneeze can spread the flu from person to person. Flu viruses can remain on household surfaces, too. The flu may spread when a person touches a surface,
like a toy, with the flu virus on it and then touches his or her mouth or nose.
Help prevent the spread of the flu virus by disinfecting surfaces in your home with products like Clorox® disinfecting products.
Journal of Infection, “The occurrence of Influenza A virus on household and day care center fomites,”Stephanie Boone and Charles Gerba, September 2004.
Visit http://www.SayBooToTheFlu.com to find a downloadable shopping list that includes all the items you need to help your family fight the flu virus this season.