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Like it or not, your kid may already be at a swine flu party

June 30, 2009 | 12:24 pm

Canoe British health authorities are warning against swine flu parties, similar to chicken pox parties, and U.S. experts have similarly tried to throw cold water on the idea here.

Here's today's CNN story out of England, plus an earlier U.S. story from the New York Times.

The premise is that becoming infected with the current, relatively mild H1N1 strain would be protection against a potentially more severe version of the flu virus come traditional flu season. The counterargument is that no flu is safe flu, so why risk it.

So what's a proactive-but-sensitive-to-criticism parent to do? Send kids to camp instead.

From California's Santa Rosa Press Democrat: Camp hit by swine flu to reopen

From the Philadelphia Inquirer: Swine flu halts muscular dystrophy camps

From the Kansas City Star: Swine flu a concern at summer camps

From WSAZ in West Virginia: Summer camp re-opens after swine flu outbreak

From the Atlanta Journal-Constitution: Flu cancels summer camp's first session in Cleveland, Ga.

It isn't that the camps want to be party hosts. The American Camp Assn. site has even offered up its chief executive, Peg Smith, to answer questions on the topic.

And the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is actively playing party pooper, offering up specific guidelines for flu fighting at camps.

But of note: The camping organization and the health agency are relying in large part on general infection control measures. Specifically, hand-washing. By kids. At camp.

The only thing missing is the cake and ice cream.

-- Tami Dennis

Photo: Masks, sanitizing gel? This Texas camp just wouldn't be the same.

Credit: Associated Press