Tuesday, August 25, 2009

In the Back-to-School Spirit - just watch out for flying pigs

Ah, the new school year. The smell of new back packs, the rustling of college-ruled papers, and the noise of kiddos blowing their noses in harmony. Yes, it is that time of year again.

With the new school year, health officials brace themselves and their Kleenex boxes for another wave of the H1N1 flu virus (more commonly known as the swine flu). And that’s nothing to oink at.

As always, the American Red Cross, in all of its preparedness glory, has a few tips to help you and your children prepare for the new school year:
  • Teach your children (actually, every child that troops through your home) proper and consistent hand washing techniques.
  • Make sure they know to avoid sharing object such as utensils, cups, and bottles.
  • Show them how to cover their mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing. If there is not a tissue around, tell them to use their elbow or upper arm, not hands.
  • Keep your hands away from your eyes, nose and mouth to keep germs from entering your body.

Of course, you should talk about what you would do if the H1N1 were to spread at your child’s school and your child gets sick. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggests those with flu-like symptoms stay home for at least 24 hours after the fever is gone (without the aid of a fever-reducing medicine).

Go hog wild and don’t be afraid to eat as much bacon and pulled-pork as you possibly can (unless allergies or religion prevents). But, most importantly, remember what mama says:

"You can pick your friends. You can pick your nose. But, you can’t pick your friends noses."

Actually, just pick your friends and leave the nose part for sneezing. Now, that's not Hogwash.

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