Two children in my son’s preschool class were diagnosed with H1N1 last week. Both children had been at school for the days preceding their diagnosis. Both are now at home with high fevers, malaise, coughs, and sore throats. While my first thought on hearing the diagnosis should have been, I hope they feel better soon, I immediately thought, I hope my son doesn’t get sick!
Panic Attack: Do I pull him out of his preschool for the next week so that the teachers can disinfect and ensure a temporary end to the spread of germs? Do I insist that he wash his hands at every sink we pass throughout our day? Do I isolate him at home for the rest of the flu season? Do I have a total panic attack?
Passive Resistance:No, I can’t pull him out of school every time other children are sick. I can’t expect the school to shut down. And, obviously, I can’t have a panic attack just thinking of the possibility of my child becoming ill.
Instead I teach my son how to stay healthy. We follow the recommendations provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
1. Cover your nose and mouth and use a tissue when you sneeze and cough. Throw the tissue into a trash can.
2. Wash your hands. Use soap and water.
3. Try not to touch your eyes, mouth, or nose.
4. Stay home when you are sick.
Chances are high that my son will get a cold sometime during the winter. However, I will not panic, nor will I be passive. We will follow precautions and recommendations, and we will stay informed.
Visit the CDC’s website on H1N1 for more information, http://www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/