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 Thursday October 23, 2014       10:24 pm
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October 28th

Getting flu shots for kids requires schedule juggling for parents

flushot.jpgIn an effort to minimize sick time, many parents are taking children for flu shots -- twice this year, once for the seasonal flu and once for H1N1.

I have to leave work at 1 p.m. today. That's because I work downtown, and I have to drive back to my neighborhood to pick up my three children, at three different schools (elementary, middle and high) and truck them over to their pediatricians office for flu vaccination at 2 p.m. This is the seasonal flu vaccine, of which the office initially ran out, and I feel fortunate to have secured an appointment for them.

However...

I'm confused why I must take off work, and they must be taken out of school, to get a vaccination that will take less than 5 minutes to administer. Why don't doctors' offices, especially pediatricians', offer vaccination clinics in the evenings or on weekends? Retail stores offer convenient hours for flu shots, but most of those clinics are only for adults. Clinics run by the county health department offer evening and weekend hours, though spots are all taken now.

Many pediatricians and nurses who work in pediatric offices have children of their own. Unless they have special access to the vaccine stash or a spouse on kid duty during the day, I presume they, too, have to juggle their work day around getting kids out of school and taking them for flu shots. I'll bet they, too, wish a clinic was available in the evenings or on weekends.

I'm no practice manager, but there's got to be a better way. Scheduling nurses to offer the shots during non-business hours might not thrill the nurses, but it wouldn't be year-round, and it wouldn't even have to be every evening. Pick a few dates, advertise those dates to patients -- hope the vaccine arrives on schedule -- and, as Larry the Cable Guy says, git-r-done.

Help protect the kids without making (letting) them miss school, and without making parents miss work. 

October 16th

Protect yourself, your family -- Flu survival kit assembles everything you need to get through a bout of influenza or a bad cold

Sports drinks and water, broth, humidifier are among the items you should have on hand.


flu.jpgYou can save yourself some worry by assembling a "flu survival kit' now, while you're still healthy.Items you should stock now, so you’re prepared in case influenza (or even a rotten cold) brings you down: (List courtesy of St. Joseph’s Hospital Health Center’s Joe Bick, manager of infection prevention and control, and Dr. Sally Klemens, epidemiologist, with help from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.)

* A working telephone.

* A cool mist humidifer (for small children).

* Suction bulb (for small children).

* Medications to lessen symptoms, including acetominophen (Tylenol), ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) and naproxen (Aleve).

* Soap for handwashing, plus alcohol hand rub.

* Tissues, paper towels.

* Surgical face mask (to limit spread to others).

* Sports drinks and water for drinking.

* Broth.

* Household disinfectant.

* A good book – or something to read, or watch, while convalescing.

Your friendly neighborhood health & fitness editor would also add some of her favorite feel-better aides -- warm, fuzzy socks; fleece jammies; cider or tea for hot beverages; lozenges to ease throat pain (but not for little kids); lip balm; hand and body lotion (since alcohol cleansers can be drying); and bubbles for a warm bath. 

What else makes you feel better when you're sick? What have we left off this list?

Protect yourself, your family -- Flu survival kit assembles everything you need to get through a bout of influenza or a bad cold

Sports drinks and water, broth, humidifier are among the items you should have on hand.

October 7th

Pandemic flu is the subject of Thursday Morning Roundtable Oct. 8 in Syracuse

Listen to Onondaga County Health Commissioner, Dr. Cynthia Morrow speak about how to deal with pandemic flu at 7 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 11 during the broadcast on WCNY of the Thursday Morning Roundtable. Morrow will explain who is at risk, preparedness measures, and guidelines to help lower your risk of the viral infection. Morrow has been County health commissioner since...

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