It’s pretty hard to know who and what to believe about the Swine Flu Virus (H1N1) with so much conflicting information around. With so many emails circulating, it’s hard to know whether gargling with salt water can really lessen the chances of catching the virus, and whether or when the vaccine will be available.

Here are 5 Swine Flu resources that are available to everyone almost every day. Knowing where to find them and using them will help keep you up to date with the most accurate information about your child and the H1N1 virus.

CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention)-
This is an organization run by the United States government that is designed to do just what it says-control and prevent the spread of infectious disease. There is a 24 hour, toll free number that will allow you direct access to the latest information, and make you privy to what national health care professionals have determined is the best way to avoid the virus.

You can also use this as an accuracy check for emails that you may receive containing information about the virus. CDC checked out the gargling with salt water email by searching their website. There website showed no scientific basis for this statement.

Local Health Department-
The health departments at the state and local levels are on high alert and are a great source of information about what’s happening in your town. They are able to tell you whether they have the vaccine, when they are expecting the next shipment, and when and if they are likely to begin vaccinations in area schools. Having the most accurate and up to the minute information is one of the best ways to stay healthy.

School Nurse-
This is a wonderful person to know and check in with. Knowing how the school is handling increases in cases of the flu, and what the plan is should the number of cases spike is great information to have. Children are in a high risk group because they come in contact with so many people daily, and because their hygiene skills are not always consistent.

Being aware of what your child’s school is doing both short-term and long-term to prevent the spread of the virus is helpful physically and emotionally. Being consistent with hygiene habits and home and school helps everyone, and you receive a constant stream of accurate and potentially flu preventing information. And the more information you have, the better and more informed your decisions will be about your family’s health.

Pediatrician-
Your child’s pediatrician is an invaluable source for everything from symptoms and treatments to prevention and vaccines. Because your physician knows your child’s medical history, they are the best professional to advise you about whether your child should receive the vaccine, whether they should receive the mist or the shot, and the best way to treat the flu should your child catch it.

The Swine Flu is fast acting and you should be too. Don’t be afraid to call the pediatrician immediately. If you’re wrong, you get to take your child home again. If you’re right, and your child does have H1N1 you have most probably saved your child’s life. Calling the pediatrician has to be an immediate response if there is fever, headache, or sudden loss of energy and appetite. This is one time when you hope to be wrong.

Other Parents-
Even though other parents can’t give medical advice; you can exchange information with each other that is helpful to you, your children, and the community as a whole. Networking with other parents can yield information that may help you increase your options in ways you had not even considered, and is a valuable tool for keeping your child healthy.

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