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Reye's Syndrome

Now that it is cold and flu season, everyone needs to remember that it is recommended to NOT give children (under age 19 years) aspirin or aspirin containing medicine during episodes of fever-causing illnesses.  This has been linked to Reye’s Syndrome.  Reye’s Syndrome is a disease that affects all organs of the body, but most lethally the liver and the brain.  It is best to always check with a doctor before giving your child aspirin.  Tylenol and Ibuprofen are not linked to Reye’s.  To learn more, the web site is www.reyessyndrome.org/.

HAND WASHING

It is always a good idea to use good hand washing, but it is really important now that flu and cold season is here.  Warm/hot water and soap, scrub for 10 seconds.  Remind children that putting soap on and just rinsing off is not going to work.  They need to scrub (rub hands, fingers) for 10 seconds.  Sometimes you can get them to wash their hands longer by having them have a saying or sing a little song (ex: Happy Birthday) while washing.

Encourage everyone to sneeze and cough into a tissue or into his or her elbow.  If you sneeze/cough into your hand then touch doorknobs, phones, etc., you are spreading germs.

Tips from the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services on “How can the spread of common cold and flu be prevented?”

  1. Wash hands after wiping/blowing noses.
     

  2. Cough or sneeze toward the floor or to one side and cover mouth.  If use hand or tissue, dispose of tissue properly and wash hands.
     

  3. Runny noses and eyes should be promptly wiped, then wash hands.
     

  4. Disposable towels/tissues should be used.
     

  5. Toys children put in their mouths and frequently used surfaces (e.g., tables) should be washed and disinfected at least once each day.
     

  6. Vaccines are available to help fight against influenza and are recommended for childcare providers, senior citizens, and children/adults in high-risk groups.  Consult the Missouri Department of Health or the child’s physician for recommendations.  The influenza vaccine is given annually in the fall before the start of the flu season.