You can’t turn on the television news lately without hearing about the flu epidemic. The seasonal flu has started early this year and is spreading quickly throughout the state. Here’s some useful information from the Center for Disease Control about how you can protect yourself from the flu and how to treat yourself and your host children should you get sick.
An Ounce of Prevention
There are steps you can take in your daily life to help protect you from getting the flu.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth. Germs spread this way.
- Try to avoid close contact with sick people
- Practice good health habits. Get plenty of sleep and exercise, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids, and eat healthy food
- Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it
- If you are sick with flu-like illness, stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone without the use of fever reducing medicine.
Symptoms of the Flu
The flu and the common cold have similar symptoms. It can be difficult to tell the difference between them. Your healthcare provider can give you a test within the first few days of your illness to determine whether or not you have the flu.
In general, the flu is worse than the common cold. Symptoms such as fever, body aches, tiredness, and cough are more common and intense with the flu.
Flu symptoms include:
- A 100oF or higher fever or feeling feverish (not everyone with the flu has a fever)
- A cough and/or sore throat
- A runny or stuffy nose
- Headaches and/or body aches
- Nausea, vomiting, and/or diarrhea (most common in children)
Treating the Flu
You can treat flu symptoms without medication by:
- Getting plenty of rest
- Drinking clear fluids like water, broth, sports drinks, or electrolyte beverages to prevent becoming dehydrated
- Placing a cool, damp washcloth on your forehead, arms, and legs to reduce discomfort associated with a fever
- Putting a humidifier in your room to make breathing easier
- Gargling salt water (1:1 ratio warm water to salt) to soothe a sore throat
- Covering up with a warm blanket to calm chills
Children are at higher risk for getting the flu because their immune systems are not fully developed. If your host child gets sick, always ask your host parents before giving any medications to the children. There are strict guidelines for dosages and they MUST be followed. Never give aspirin to children or teenagers who have the flu. Giving aspirin to children with the flu can cause a rare but serious illness called Reye’s Syndrome. Read ingredient labels on over-the-counter medications carefully to ensure they do not contain aspirin.
The Suffolk County Cluster of Au Pair in America decorated HELP Suffolk Homeless Shelter for the holidays! They transformed the recreation room into a WINTER WONDERLAND filled with snowflakes suspended from the ceiling, 2 snowpeople and some cheerful packages on the walls! The decorate the holiday tree, too! The residents and staff were thrilled with the results!!
HELP Suffolk is a 76-unit transitional housing facility for homeless families housing a maximum of 100 adults and 200 children at any given time. Units are available for people with disabilities.
HELP Suffolk is the largest housing facility for the homeless on Long Island. The complex sits on seven acres of property and consists of four residential buildings, a community building, two playgrounds and a baseball field.
Since its inception in 1990, HELP Suffolk has served over 4,000 families and places approximately 60 percent of families into permanent housing.
The nation’s largest au pair agency celebrates the 25th anniversary of America’s legal au pair program by freezing their prices in 2011.
D-2010 –STAMFORD, CT – December 3, 2010 – To commemorate the 25th anniversary of the United States’ legal au pair program in 2011, Au Pair in America (www.aupairinamerica.com), the nation’s first au pair program, announced today that they will not increase their fees for a second straight year.
“We are delighted to offer families the high quality child care that has become synonymous with Au Pair in America at our affordable 2009 prices,” said Ruth Ferry, Sr. Vice President and Director of Au Pair in America. “We have been honored to work with the Department of State over the last quarter of a century to help the au pair program emerge as a child care solution for all types of American families.”
At just $347 per week (regardless of the number of children in the family), parents can utilize the flexible program at a cost that can be less expensive than day care arrangements.
Saturday, June 19 our cluster had a booth at the Southold Craft Fair. We sold international food made by the au pairs, sold crafts we made, taught kids about their cultures, handed out Au Pair in America brochures and had a wonderful time. All funds raised go to the Southampton Fresh Air Home Summer Camp for Disabled Children. Thanks to all who contributed time, effort and bought our crafts, food and raffle!!
With shorter days and colder weather, you and the children are probably spending more time inside the house. Please be sure that the house is “childproof” with these simple tips:
- Children are curious; many small children put everything into their mouths. Be sure no small objects are within the child’s reach.
- Plastic bags, long cords and very soft pillows can be dangerous to children.
- If a toy gets broken and has sharp edges, keep it away from children!
- Be sure that laundry soap and other cleaners are out of reach of the children.
- Don’t leave any medicines in reach of children, not even vitamins.
- Keep scissors and knives out of reach.
- Store the toys that belong to older children out of reach of babies and toddlers.
- Many cosmetic items and toiletries, such as mouthwash, perfume, nail polish, and hair spray, are poisonous. Keep them out of children’s reach.
Au Pairs from Suffolk County Au Pair in America Cluster have been teaching a “Little Linguist” Mommy and Me group at Smithtown Library. The children and moms are learning about Brazil, Colombia, Peru and China. Crafts, songs, stories, dancing and more have been taught by young woman from these countries! http://www.globalawareness.com/
Canoeing in September on the Nissequoque River with Long Island Au Pair in America clusters!
Summer fun at Cindy’s Beach house in Northville. Also a great childcare lesson on water and summer safety!
An “All American Experience” = Au Pairs enjoy a Long Island Ducks Baseball Game
We walked across the Brooklyn Bridge on a beautiful May day with other Au Pair in America clusters. Then we enjoyed shopping and great food in Chinatown and Little Italy!