7 Healthcast: H1N1 Preps
The 2009 H1N1 flu virus has killed more than 250 children so far this year... That's three times the number of pediatric deaths than we'd see in a normal flu season.
But schools across the country are taking action -- organizing vaccine clinics and protecting kids in other creative ways.
NBC's Michelle Franzen reports.
"How do we wash our hands? We go on the insides, the tops, in between our fingers, and then we get our nails, all right?"
The lessons at school across the country go beyond the typical reading and writing.
This year, teachers and school administratos have to add "Swine Flu Prevention 101" to their curriculum.
But beyond the typical handwashing... One Elementary school handed out personal water bottles.
Originally intended to cut down on time spent waiting in line at the water fountain -- The program had the additional benefit of keeping kids' mouths and hands off of the spouts -- Where germs can lurk.
Steve Drye/Elon Park Elementary Principal
"If we're getting any H1N1 prevention from that, then that's something we'll certainly take."
Schools across the country have organized H-1-N-1 vaccine clinics, a monumental accomplishment, according to the director of the Centers for Disease Control.
Thomas Frieden, MD, MPH-CDC Director
"It's quite difficult. You have to get the consent forms, get the school involved, figure out how to do it without disrupting classes. It's a big job, and it had not been done on a large-scale basis really until this year."
The CDC recomments children under age 10 to get two doses of the H1N1 flu vaccine -- at least 28 days apart. Without both doses, experts say kids are still vulnerable.
The take-home advice: get vaccinated. Even though swine flu cases have been diminshing -- health experts warn a second wave could come after the new year.
If your kids use water fountains, experts say have them avoid putting their mouths on the spouts. Running the water for about 15 seconds is said to help flush away germs.
And encourage kids to wash their hands after touching the knob, which can be a breeding ground for bacteria.
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