Wednesday, September 2, 2009

What should parents do to prevent H1N1

Infants are thought to be at particularly high risk for severe illness from novel H1N1 infection and very little is known about prevention of the infection in infants. Babies who are not breastfed get sick from infections like the flu more often and more severely than babies who are breastfed. Mothers pass on antibodies to their baby during breastfeeding, which help fight infection. Steps that parents of infants can take include:
  • Call your infant’s health care provider if you think that your infant is ill or has had close contact with a person who has novel H1N1 influenza.
  • If your baby is ill with novel H1N1 influenza, do not stop breastfeeding. Your baby needs frequent breastfeeding throughout the illness. Choose breastfeeding over anything else, including water, juice, or Pedialyte. If your baby is too sick to breastfeed, he or she can drink your milk from a cup, bottle, syringe, or eyedropper.
  • Do not give aspirin (acetylsalicylic acid) or products that contain aspirin (e.g. bismuth subsalicylate – Pepto Bismol) to infants.
  • Children younger than 4 years of age should not be given over-the-counter cold medications without first speaking with a health care provider.
  • Make sure your infant gets an immunization for the seasonal flu and that other routine vaccinations are up to date. As soon as a vaccine for novel H1N1 flu is available, get your child (over the age of 6 months) vaccinated for novel H1N1 flu. The seasonal flu shot will only help protect your child from regular flu. The novel H1N1 flu shot will help protect them from the novel virus. There is a chance that it will take two shots, about three weeks apart, to get the full benefit from the novel H1N1 flu vaccine.
  • Take everyday precautions such as washing hands or using alcohol-based hand gel frequently to keep your hands clean and especially after sneezing or coughing.
  • If you are sick with novel H1N1 influenza, ask for help from family members and friends who are not ill to feed and care for your baby, if possible. If not, wear a facemask, if available and tolerable, especially while in close contact, such as while feeding the baby.
  • Ensure your baby continues to breastfeed and receive breast milk. Continue breastfeeding even if you are taking medication to prevent novel H1N1 influenza. If you are ill with novel H1N1 influenza, call a health professional such as a lactation consultant for help on expressing and storing milk so someone who is not ill can give your baby your expressed milk.
  • Ask your infant’s child care provider about their plans for preventing novel H1N1 infection and controlling spread of disease.
Hope that the information above will help the parents how to prevent H1N1 to your baby .We will continue on more how to protect yourself when pregnant on next post.Thanks

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