Monday, April 27, 2009


This is a blog about raising teenagers, but today I speak to all parents, all over the world. I don't watch much news over the weekend, so imagine my surprise when I log onto my computer this morning and the first thing I see is Janet Napolitano, the Homeland Security Secretary, declaring a public health emergency over the outbreak of Swine Flu in this country.

So far, about 20 cases have been reported in New York, Texas, Ohio, Kansas and California. All mild cases. But in Mexico, more than 100 people have died from this flu strain. I'm not real confident that the already flimsy border between the U.S. and Mexico will be able to keep this flu from spreading.

I live in Southern California, and so far, there are seven reported cases in San Diego. That's about 70 miles down the freeway from me. A little too close for comfort.

We haven't reached that state of precaution yet where we should keep our children home from school, but I do envy all those moms who are homeschooling their children today. Since I outsource my kids' schooling every day, the only thing I could do was strongly urge them to duck into the bathroom at school to wash their hands.

I think I will put on my "To Do" list today: 1. Stock up on anti-bacterial soap 2. Buy three face masks at Home Depot (just trying to be prepared!)

How about you parents in other countries? Are you as concerned as we are here in the U.S.?

How can you prevent the Swine Flu from infecting your household? Here are some tips from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

* 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. Try to avoid close contact with sick people.

Influenza is thought to spread mainly person-to-person through coughing or sneezing of infected people. If you get sick, CDC recommends that you stay home from work or school and limit contact with others to keep from infecting them.

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