National Preparedness Month
September is National Preparedness Month: "You can be the Hero"
Enhance Influenza Prevention and Control
he National Preparedness Month
is an annual campaign to encourage Americans to prepare for emergencies and disasters. This effort is led by the Federal Emergency Management Agency
(FEMA) and is sponsored by the Ready Campaign
in partnership with Citizen's Corp
. This September marks the tenth annual National Preparedness Month, and this year’s theme is “You can be the Hero”. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) asks members to take specific action to promote pediatric preparedness during September.
Create an Emergency Kit and Develop a Disaster Plan
- Get your annual flu shot and encourage others to do the same!
- Promote influenza vaccine use and infection control measures. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that all children aged 6 months and older, especially those with long-term chronic health conditions, get the flu vaccine every year.
- Be strategic in meeting the needs of Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs (CYSHCN). Children with chronic medical conditions, such as asthma, diabetes mellitus, immunosuppression, or neurologic disorders, are at high risk for influenza-related complications. Pediatricians, medical subspecialists, and parents can work together to make sure these children receive the seasonal influenza vaccine as soon as it is available and that there is a plan in place to treat them early if they develop influenza-like illness.
- A medical subspecialist might see a child more often than the primary care provider. If so, the specialist can add a note to reports that are sent to the child’s primary care provider: “In addition, because of his/her neurologic (or other) condition, Name is at high risk for severe complications from the flu and therefore it is extremely important that he/she receive a yearly flu shot.”
- Educate families about influenza viruses that might be circulating such as H5N1 Avian Influenza, H1N1 Swine Flu, H3N2v Swine Flu, and the H7N9 Avian Influenza viruses. Review Information for Clinicians, AAP News article, and Materials for Families.
- Reach out to Head Start and other child care programs and provide caregivers with educational materials/strategies on influenza prevention and control. Encourage caregivers to review HealthyChildren.org and CDC materials.
In a disaster, CYSHCN
will benefit from having a clear, written comprehensive care plan. A comprehensive care plan
includes a medical information plan, an emergency plan, and a working care plan.
Get Involved in Preparedness Activities in Your Community