Last season, more than 80,000 Americans died of the flu, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It’s the highest number in at least four decades.
And, unfortunately, 180 of those deaths were children.
Having the flu is terrible for anyone. But for kids under age 5, and especially those under age 2, flu can be really dangerous. They can get pneumonia, dehydration and ear infections, and if they have asthma or other health conditions, they could be at greater risk.
But it’s not just young kids that are a concern. Even older, healthy children can die suddenly of flu. Eighty percent of the kids who died last season from the flu weren’t vaccinated.
If you’re a parent or caregiver — or anyone who loves children — hearing about this can be upsetting. But living through it is even worse. Here’s what it boils down to: Getting a flu shot is easy. It can save your child’s life. Now is the time to get one.
Everyone 6 months and older is recommended to get their flu shot every year. It’s important that you get one too. That way you can help protect both yourself and people who can’t be vaccinated, including young children.
For more info on flu and kids, including questions on vaccines, see CDC’s website. And check out this fun Ready Wrigley book for games, coloring pages and more for your child.