ATLANTA, Sept. 24 /PRNewswire-HISPANIC PR WIRE/ — Only one in 10 parents is aware of the recommended age range for children to be vaccinated against the flu, according to a new survey. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) expanded the flu vaccination recommendations in February 2008 to include all children from 6 months through 18 years old, expanding vaccinations to 30 million more school-age children.
The survey also found that during the past two years, nearly 60 percent of parents did not get their children vaccinated against the flu. To drive awareness of the new recommendations and the importance of flu vaccinations, Families Fighting Flu (FFF) — a group of parents who have lost a child to the flu — the Visiting Nurse Associations of America (VNAA) — the largest non-profit network of flu immunizers — and The Clorox Company have teamed up to help educate families about the broadened recommendations and to increase the number of people getting flu vaccinations nationwide through the Say “Boo!” to the Flu program.
“My wife and I didn’t realize how important one flu vaccination could be until we lost our daughter, Amanda, to the flu,” said Richard Kanowitz, President of FFF. “That is why this program is so important to us — Say ‘Boo!’ to the Flu educates parents on the importance of getting their kids vaccinated and other steps they can take to help prevent the spread of the flu virus.”
In its third year, the Say “Boo!” to the Flu program educates families nationwide on how to treat the entire family to a healthier, happier flu season. The program features a bus tour that will travel across the country, stopping along the way to vaccinate families in 12 cities and give them the tricks they need to fight the flu virus this flu season.
“It’s crucial that parents stay informed and make it a priority to vaccinate their families against the flu every year,” said Mary Ann Blade, a VNAA representative. “Say ‘Boo!’ to the Flu brings flu prevention to the whole family, since the CDC says that household contacts and caregivers — moms, dads, grandparents, nannies and other child care providers — should also get vaccinated.”
Everyone is Saying “Boo!” to the Flu!
The Say “Boo!” to the Flu bus tour will kick off September 27 in Atlanta, bringing flu vaccinations and simple prevention tips to families across the country throughout the month of October, before flu activity peaks. Halloween games and giveaways like stickers, t-shirts and Clorox Disinfecting Wipes are part of every event.
In addition to the traveling Say “Boo!” to the Flu tour, other groups will be signing on to help say “boo!” to the flu, too. Visiting Nurse Associations across the country, pediatricians’ offices, flu shot clinics, child care centers and moms’ groups nationwide will receive Say “Boo!” to the Flu materials, resources and tools to help prevent the spread of the flu virus in their communities.
Visit http://www.SayBooToTheFlu.com for the complete tour schedule, downloadable family activities, a flu clinic locator and simple flu prevention tips.
News for Parents
The survey, conducted by the Say “Boo!” to the Flu program partners, also found:
Parents need to brush up on their flu facts.
– Only 10 percent of parents knew that the CDC recommends the flu vaccination for children from 6 months through 18 years.
– Ninety percent of parents did not know that a child can be contagious for more than seven days after becoming sick.
– Flu vaccinations are not a top priority on parents’ winter to-do lists.
– When parents think about fall and winter woes, most name the high cost of heating fuel as their biggest dread this coming season. Only 15 percent said they most dread the possibility of a family member catching the flu.
– A majority of parents (52 percent) are only slightly or not at all concerned that their child or children will catch the flu within the next six months.
– Nearly 60 percent (57 percent) of parents have NOT gotten their children vaccinated against the flu in the past two years.
– Most parents who don’t get their children vaccinated against the flu say they don’t think the vaccine is necessary (29 percent).
– Among parents who have not taken their children to get a flu shot within the past two years, 58 percent said they would be likely to do it if they could get the flu shot at locations such as schools, shopping malls, grocery stores or public parks.
You Can Scare Away the Flu, Too!
Aside from getting vaccinated against the flu, there are other simple steps families can take to help prevent the spread of the flu virus — and other potentially harmful bacteria and viruses — in their homes:
– Wash Hands Frequently: Wash hands with warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds (the time it takes to sing the “Happy Birthday” song twice).
– Disinfect Germ Hot Spots: Kids can touch up to 300 surfaces in 30 minutes, so disinfect the surfaces kids touch most frequently — like doorknobs, light switches, faucets or plastic toys.
– Do the Elbow Cough: Cough and sneeze into your elbow instead of your hands to help prevent the spread of germs from touch.
– Follow Good Health Guidelines: Eat right, exercise, and get plenty of sleep to help boost your body’s ability to fight the effects of colds and the flu.
About Families Fighting Flu
Families Fighting Flu, Inc. (FFF) is a non-profit, volunteer-based organization established in 2004 that is made up of families and healthcare practitioners who have experienced first-hand the death of a child due to the flu, or have had a child experience severe medical complications from the flu. As a Say “Boo!” to the Flu partner, FFF is dedicated to educating parents about the severity of influenza and the importance of vaccinating children against the flu every year. For more information, visit http://www.FamiliesFightingFlu.org.
About Visiting Nurse Associations of America
The Visiting Nurse Associations of America (VNAA) is the official national association for non-profit, community-based Visiting Nurse Agencies (VNAs), who care for and treat approximately four million patients each year. The nation’s network of non-profit VNAs employ over 100,000 healthcare professionals, and share a non-profit mission to provide cost-effective and compassionate home healthcare to some of the nation’s most vulnerable individuals, particularly the elderly and individuals with disabilities. The VNAA has a wide range of resources available on its Web site about home healthcare and questions to ask when considering home healthcare. As a Say “Boo!” to the Flu partner, VNAA represents the largest network of non-profit community influenza immunizers in the country and is committed to enhancing vaccination programs nationwide. For more information, visit http://www.VNAA.org.
About The Clorox Company
The Clorox Company is committed to helping families live easier, healthier and better lives. As part of this commitment, Clorox is honored to support the Say “Boo!” to the Flu program to educate parents about the importance of flu prevention and the role of disinfecting to help prevent the spread of surface germs that cause the flu. For more information, visit http://www.Clorox.com. For more information about the role of disinfecting to help prevent the spread of surface germs that cause the flu, visit http://www.SayBooToTheFlu.com.
About the Survey
These results are based on 1,008 online interviews with parents from across the United States who have at least one child 18 years of age or younger. Ipsos, a leading global market research firm, conducted the interviews between August 27th and September 2nd, 2008.
With a sample of 1,008, one can say with 95 percent certainty that the overall results are within ± 3.1 percentage points of what they would have been had the entire population of parents with a child 18 years or younger been surveyed. The margin of error will be larger for sub-groupings of the survey sample.