Each year, healthy kids die from flu-related complications. Many of these deaths are preventable by vaccine, and the statistics attributed with flu deaths are staggering. The flu season of 2017-2018 was one of the worst in recent memory with 181 children falling victim to the virus. This is a dramatic increase from 94 children in 2015-2016.
The official cutoff date for flu season reporting is during the week ending the 29th of September, and already, a child has passed away in 2018. We don’t share this to scare you, but to encourage you to have your child vaccinated with the flu vaccine every year.
In 2013, it was reported that 43% of the children who died from flu-related complications between October 2004-September 2012 were otherwise healthy and did not suffer from chronic, high-risk conditions such as asthma, diabetes, certain types of cancer, congenital heart defects or neurological disorders such as cerebral palsy or epilepsy. Each of these conditions pose a higher risk of flu-related fatality.
If your child is 6 months of age or older, please talk to your pediatrician about the vaccine. You could be saving your child’s life, or the life of another by stopping the spread of disease. Be sure to wash hands with soap and water regularly throughout the day and keep kids home from school who have a fever.
Weekly U.S. Influenza Surveillance Report
USA Today: Even healthy kids can die from flu complications