Pegy Lowery had a lot of trouble getting her daughter, Piper, anywhere near needles.
The 12-year-old was terrified of them and cried if she felt them touch her skin at all, so she didn't think it would be a big problem for her daughter to go without a yearly flu shot.
But when Piper did actually get the flu, her symptoms quickly became severe. In addition to her fever reaching 105 degrees, she had trouble breathing, bled from her nose, and vomited blood. On January 16, only four days after getting sick, she was taken to a children's hospital in Tacoma, Washington. However, she collapsed before even entering the building and died that day from complications of the H1N1 flu.
Unfortunately, there are a number of other parents who have suffered a loss because they were under the impression that flu shots weren't necessary for their children.
Rebecca Hendricks also didn't realize how dangerous the flu could be and didn't take her five-year-old daughter, Scarlet, to get the vaccine. But just 48 hours after Scarlet began showing symptoms, she died from influenza in December 2014.
In 2004, four-year-old Amanda Kanowitz also succumbed to the illness and passed away two days after her parents noticed that she had a fever and was coughing. She hadn't gotten a flu shot either.
According the the CDC, more than 100 children died from the flu between 2012 and 2013, and 90 percent of them had not received a vaccination. As of September, 85 children died from the illness between 2015 and 2016. That number could rise before year's end.
The flu virus is very contagious, and can be spread through a cough, sneeze, or just coming in contact with a surface that an infected person has touched. Even if your child is healthy, that doesn't keep them safe from catching it, and the complications can become deadly in only a few days.
Symptoms to watch out for include high-grade fever, body aches and chills, sore throat, lethargy, headache, and a runny or stuffy nose. The flu can also lead to issues like sinus congestion, ear infection, and even pneumonia.
One of the best ways to prevent your children from catching the flu is to get them vaccinated with the appropriate flu shot. It can mean the difference between life and death.
(via The Washington Post)
For more information about what to do if you think your child has the flu, including the measures you should take if they are showing serious and severe symptoms, click here.