Commentary: As school starts, watch for swine flu

Parents, be alert to sniffles, sneezes and coughs. You’re a major line of defense in the battle against swine flu. Parents know first when children start showing symptoms. Ailing kids must be kept home, for everyone’s health.

Parents should also drill into their children the simple steps to reduce the chances of catching this potentially deadly illness.

Once Manatee County schools open their doors on Aug. 24, children will come in close contact with one another — and germs.

This year will be far different from past years as school districts and health departments around the county prepare for an expected onslaught of the fast-spreading swine flu.

We all must be attentive. We’re facing a potential health crisis not seen since the flu pandemic of 1957 killed almost 70,000 Americans.

To read the complete editorial, visit bradenton.com.