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Time to buy a flu kit?

August 27, 2009 - Per Peterson
How seriously are people taking the upcoming flu season? Consider this: Parents are being encouraged to put together a 'Swine Flu Combat Kit,' which you can do for less than $20. The kit should include: 1. Temple Touch Thermometer - Advised are noninvasive, digital forehead thermometers, like the Temple Touch thermometer available at Wal-Mart for under $10. These thermometers do not cross-contaminate dangerous germs like traditional digital stick thermometers. 2. Hand Sanitizer - Pocket size bottles can easily be kept in book bags and lockers, briefcases and desks. Can be purchased at any drug store. 3. Soap & Water - You should keep these items handy at sinks. School children should wash their hands every hour at school. 4. Baby Wipes - Parents and students should use these to wipe down hands, lunchboxes, notebooks and all other school supplies daily. 5. Tissues - Should be used to cover coughs and sneezes. The "Swine Flu Combat Kit" is recommended to avoid spread of the disease. Swine flu may infect half the U.S. population this year, hospitalize 1.8 million patients and lead to as many as 90,000 deaths, more than twice the number killed in a typical seasonal flu, the White House said this week. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) says that 2009 could be the worst flu season the nation has seen in years, thanks to the Novel H1N1 virus or, as some still like to call it, the "swine flu." Some doctors say that last year's flu season never really ended with outbreak of H1N1. Regardless, the CDC expects flu activity to rise again, ahead of the regular flu season, as 55 million students and 7 million staffers head back to the nation's 130,000 schools. In case you don't know, symptoms include: fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills, fatigue, and, in some cases, diarrhea and vomiting. It might seem like a hassle to put such a kit together, and some people might have trouble coming up with an extra $20 at this time of the year, considering all the clothes and school supplies they've already had to buy, but it's probably worth shelling out the 20 bucks for if you can. It could keep your kid out of the emergency room this fall and winter, meaning you could avoid the $75-$100 visit as well as having to buy expensive medicine if your kid does get really sick. Your kids can keep the kit in their locker, and buy using it, not only would it keep them safe, it would help keep those around them flu-free as well.


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