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American Idol Former Finalist, Brooke White, Helps Teens Cast Flu Prevention Vote
Date:2/4/2009

With Only 16 Percent of Parents Aware of the CDC's Flu Vaccination Recommendations, New Contest Encourages Their Teens to Join Education Effort

NEW YORK, Feb. 4 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- No teenager wants their Facebook status to read "Home with the flu," when their friends are all out having fun. That is why singer/songwriter and former American Idol finalist, Brooke White, is teaming up with infectious diseases specialist and author, Dr. Harley Rotbart, and The Clorox Company to launch "I Don't Want to Miss...," a national contest that puts teens in the spotlight to talk about flu education and prevention and the special events in their life they don't want to miss.

This year, for the first time ever, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) expanded flu vaccination recommendations to include all children from six months through 18 years old, but a new survey shows that only 21 percent of teens within this recommendation actually received a flu vaccination this winter. According to the CDC, in some areas of the country, flu activity can occur as late as May, indicating it is not too late for parents to get their teens vaccinated.

"Last year, during American Idol we couldn't imagine missing our shot at becoming the next American Idol because of the flu," said Brooke White, singer/songwriter and former American Idol finalist. "With so few parents and teens aware of the CDC's recommendations, I want to encourage them to adopt healthy habits and simple prevention steps so they don't miss out on all the exciting moments in their lives."

Your Chance to Audition

The heart of the "I Don't Want to Miss..." program is a Public Service Announcement (PSA) contest that lets teens do the talking. Teens can submit video entries at www.IDontWanttoMiss.com, highlighting what they don't want to miss. A judges' panel will select five finalists, but the winner will be America's choice, through an online vote for the favorite video. The student that submits the winning video will receive a personal appearance and acoustic concert by Brooke White for his or her school!

IDontWanttoMiss.com is also the interactive homeroom for teens, parents and teachers, featuring prevention tips and expert advice from Dr. Harley Rotbart, author of Germ Proof Your Kids, as well as information on the PSA contest. The site also features interactive polls for teens and an opportunity for parents to submit their own healthy habit tips.

Keep the Flu Out of Your "Top 12" This Winter

From the gym to the band room, schools are breeding grounds for germs. It is easy for teens to pick up illness-causing germs from their friends. In fact, according to a recent survey, more than a third of teens (34 percent) share their electronic devices among other teens at least several times a week.

"Research shows that teenagers and their parents may not understand the importance of prevention, but it's not too late to take action," said Dr. Harley Rotbart. "Since flu season can last as long as May, and this year's flu strains are resistant to some medicines that usually treat the flu, parents should still take teens to get a flu shot so they do not miss out on upcoming spring activities, like prom, a big musical or the basketball championship."

Don't Want to Be Out of the Competition?

Teens and their families can help "eliminate" the flu virus so they don't miss out on the things they care about the most. Once the family is vaccinated, follow these simple steps to help prevent the flu virus from spreading:

  • After You Hi-Five, Wash Your Hands: In order to kill germs, wash your hands with warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds after any activity that involves others (like sports practice, play practice or school dances).
  • Disinfecting 101: It is important that frequently touched surfaces in the home and items you share with your friends -- like cell phones, light switches and MP3 players -- are disinfected as directed.
  • Share the Scoop... Not Your Sneeze: Cough and sneeze into your elbow instead of your hands to help prevent the spread of germs from touch.
  • Your Health Teacher Was Right: Eat right (especially foods with lots of vitamin C), exercise, dress warmly when it's cold, and get plenty of sleep to help boost your body's ability to fight the effects of colds and the flu.

Voting is Closed, and the Results are Not Good

In a national survey conducted by The Clorox Company and Ipsos, a leading global market research firm, findings indicate:

Parents Have Homework, Too

  • Only 16 percent of parents (and only nine percent of teens) understand that the CDC currently recommends the flu vaccination for all children age six months through 18 years.
  • Among parents of teens who have not received the flu vaccination this season, nearly half (47 percent) think the flu vaccination is not necessary or that their teen does not need it -- despite the current CDC recommendations.
  • Among teenagers who haven't yet gotten the flu vaccination, 40 percent said it was because their parent or guardian has not taken them to get it.

Teens Are Playing Hooky on Flu Prevention

  • Only 21 percent of teenagers said they have received a flu vaccination within the past three months.

Parents Want to Raise the Next Brooke White

  • The top activity parents do not want their teen to miss because of the flu or a bad cold is a school play, recital or other arts event.

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 "I Don't Want to Miss..." program to educate parents about the importance of flu prevention and the role of disinfecting to help reduce the spread of surface germs that cause the flu. For more information, visit www.Clorox.com.

About the Survey

These results are based on 509 online interviews with U.S. adults who are the parent of a child ages 12 to 17. Additionally, these results are based on 507 online interviews with teens, ages 12 to 17. Interviews were conducted by Ipsos, a global survey-based market research company, between Dec. 19 and Dec. 23, 2008. The final data are statistically weighted to reflect the regional population distribution of the United States.

With a sample of 509, one can say with 95% certainty that the overall results are within plus/minus 4.3 percentage points of what they would have been had the entire population of U.S. parents been surveyed. With a sample of 507, one can say with 95% certainty that the overall results are within plus/minus 4.4 percentage points of what they would have been had the entire population of U.S. teens been surveyed.


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SOURCE The Clorox Company
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