Vaccinations for H1N1 in the metro are in progress. The first in line: children and young adults from two to 24-years-old but they're not the only ones considered high-risk. In October's Health Check report, a look at why some adults really need to get immunized.
When you mention H1N1 to Stephanie Garnder, she immediately thinks of children -- and not just her two boys.
"I have an in-home day care," she says. "So my kids are actually home with me but the other kids who do come into my home, I do have that concern with them bringing it on."
Equally important -- making sure Stephanie doesn't spread H1N1 to the kids in her care. Stephanie is fine now and plans to keep it that way by getting immunized.
Dr. Kirti Gupta, with Alegent Health, says Stephanie makes the high-risk list because she's a caregiver. Other adults on the list: pregnant women and parents with infants under six-months, those too young to get vaccinated.
Dr. Gupta says, "There is no immune system that's going to be very effective when it comes to taking care of an illness like pneumonia so instead of treating the disease after it happens it's better to prevent. That's not just parents but all caregivers. That includes any other family members who take care of the child and, of course, day care centers."
Stephanie Gardner isn't sure it will stay that way, but by doing what she can, she hopes she and her children are able to enjoy days filled with fun, not the flu.
Stephanie says, "My kids are everything to me so getting them vaccinated and preparing myself for what's out there is better than not knowing and them coming down seriously ill."
Two other things parents can do: teach older children the symptoms of H1N1 so they can do more than tell you they don't feel well, and appoint one adult as a potential caregiver. That person needs to learn all the preventive strategies to block the spread of H1N1 and learn how best to take care of a sick child.