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Monday, November 23, 2009

Moms ~ knowledge is key

As a Mom, we are worried about the health and well-being of our children. After all I think it is at the top of our priority list to keep them healthy and safe. So when a pandemic like the H1N1 virus comes a long a Mom can become worried and over-whelmed with fear and in our modern age we are over-loaded with information.

In my family, this Fall our first defense has been prevention.

We have implemented an earlier bed time for all three of our children. In my opinion, a body can better defend itself against germs and viruses if it is well rested. I have also cut out sleepovers (for now) and we have cut down on the amount of after-school activities. My children have become avid hand-washers and don't walk by a hand-sanitizer without using it. I have been happy to see hand-sanitizers popping up in many of the public places which we visit. (the recreation center, and in every classroom at school)

In my oldest daughter's class, they have had as many as 12 students absent in a day. I have kept all three of my children home from school this Fall if they displayed any of the symptoms of the flu. I am feeling confident that the message of staying home if you are sick is getting through to people. To me, this is the key to keep the number of cases of the flu to a minimum.

Most importantly, moms need to get the facts. We need to be able to access the facts accurately and quickly from a reliable resource. Luckily in Ontario, The Ministry of Health has done an excellent job of getting the message out to the residents of our province. The Ministry of Health has set up their websites to be user-friendly and up-to-date with the most current information that is available.

One tool that I have utilized is the Influenza Self-Assessment. This self-assessment is not to be used as a substitute of a doctors advice, but rather a tool for moms to determine if you or one of your children has come in contact with the flu and are now suffering from the symptoms.

I have used Telehealth Ontario on many occasions. Ontarians can call Telehealth 24 hours a day/7 days a week and talk to a nurse. After all, we all know children tend to become ill in the middle of the night. A parent can become frantic in the wee hours of the night when trying to deal with a sick child. Telehealth can give advice and guide us in making the decision if we should make a trip to the ER or wait until morning to give the doctors office a call. From my experience with Telehealth they are very thorough and get the facts through asking questions before giving advice.

One of the biggest questions moms have been asking is, whether or not we should be vaccinating our children. Honestly, I have had questions, and with such differing opinions it has been something that I had to seriously consider, weighing all the facts. When the tragic deaths of a few young teen and pre-teen aged children hit the media, I was deeply saddened that Ontario children had lost their lives to H1N1. For me, this hit the reality of this flu home. It suddenly became very real and it was right in my own backyard. To find the most up to-date information on the vaccine and when vaccination clinics are open, be sure to check The Ministry of Health's Influenza Vaccination Clinics.

Knowledge is key this flu season. But get your knowledge from a reliable resource. The Ministry of Health has the answers you are looking for regarding the H1N1 flu virus.

Ontarians, get the facts, know the symptoms and know how to react when and if the H1N1 hits your family.

Any opinions expressed are my own, yours may differ and I respect that.
I wrote this post while participating in a blog tour campaign for Mom Central and received a Mom Central gift pack to thank me for taking the time to participate.


Randi Troxell said...

this is very smartly written.. and i can only hope other are as critical of this as you are....

Mighty M said...

I listen to a Canadian radio station and I have been very impressed with the country's flu response and how they have been communicating out everything!

blueviolet said...

I wish more people would be as cautious and keep their kids home as you do.

Rose said...

Hi Pam, thankyou for stopping by my blog.
I am much like your kids using hand sanitiser all the time, especially when im working in the hospital!


lfhpueblo said...

When you know people in the church you attend who have had the flu (yes diagnosed by an MD) and even a baby in the church who had gotten the H1N1 at her daycare providers, then it becomes all too real. We've had both the regular flu vaccines and the H1N1 without any bad reactions or side effects. Yet, it is up to each family I believe to make their own informed, educated decisions on this matter.

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