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Thank you for subscribing to Children's Health, an Avera eNewsletter that provides you with useful information about maintaining a healthy lifestyle for children. To learn more about our services, community events, or to find a physician, visit www.Avera.org.

To your health,

The Avera Staff


Children are among the top priority groups for the H1N1 flu vaccine, and getting a flu shot is the best way to protect them from the virus. You will want to consider both a vaccination for the seasonal flu, as well as for this new strain. Both types of flu require a separate vaccination.

People naturally are concerned about reports on the H1N1 flu, and keeping you and your family healthy is Avera's primary goal. Children between the ages of 5 and 18 have been recommended as a third-priority immunization group for the H1N1 flu vaccine, just after pregnant women and health care workers. (Health care workers are a priority group because they need to be available to provide care for others.) Many hospitals, clinics, pharmacies and drug stores offer the flu shot, but you may want to check with your insurance provider first to make sure you're covered.

As soon as the flu vaccine is available is the best time to get vaccinated. H1N1 vaccine will be available in October. Seasonal flu vaccine is already available. Flu season can begin as early as October and last as late as May, but most years the flu peaks in January or February.

To get the most current H1N1 flu vaccine recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, click here.

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Besides receiving the H1N1 flu vaccine, there are additional steps you and your children can take to prevent the flu. H1N1 flu, like seasonal flu, is mainly spread from person to person through coughing and sneezing. Encourage your children to take the following steps to stay healthy this fall and winter.

• Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the
tissue in the trash after you use it.  
• Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze.
Alcohol-based hands cleaners are also effective.  
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread that way.  
• Avoid contact with sick people.
• If your children are sick, keep them home from school to prevent spreading the illness to others.

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In Great Health online archive.