Thursday, November 19, 2009

An H1N1 (Swine Flu) Guide for our Foster Parents

With daily news reports regarding the H1N1 (Swine) flu, we’d like to take this opportunity to address this important public health issue with you. According to the Centers for Disease Control, the symptoms of H1N1 flu are similar to seasonal flu and include: fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, and fatigue. Some individuals may also experience diarrhea and vomiting.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports that children with chronic health problems such as asthma, diabetes, and heart problems, are at higher risk of having complications from the flu. Young children under the age of 5 are also at higher risk for flu complications.

As foster parents, you may be caring for children who are new to your family and/or for whom you may not know all their medical history. For this reason it is especially important to recognize and watch carefully for the signs and symptoms of flu or unusual behavior that may be a sign that they are sick.

Due to this being an especially active flu season, please contact your foster child’s doctor and notify your Aspiranet Social Worker should your foster child show any signs of illness or flu-like symptoms. If your foster child or anyone in your family is diagnosed with the H1N1 flu, please notify your Aspiranet Social Worker immediately.

The CDC recommends that if a child is in a high risk category and is showing signs of the flu, to contact the child’s doctor immediately, as the doctor may prescribe medicine that will work best within the first 2 days of getting sick.

If your foster child does become ill, as foster parents, you may not give your foster child any over-the-counter medications that are not first approved by a doctor.

Therefore, please refer to the child’s home file for the Prescription for Over-the-Counter (OTC) Medications form (RF-45) for information about OTC medication for your foster child. If this form is incomplete or outdated, you must obtain direction from the child’s doctor regarding the type and correct dosage of over-the-counter medication for your foster child. If in doubt, please contact your Aspiranet Social Worker for assistance, before giving any OTC medication.

As always, please contact your Aspiranet Social Worker or District Director with any concerns or questions. Please notify your Social Worker if you are in need of assistance in caring for your family due to your or their illness. We are here to support and partner with you in caring for your family.

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