Each year, many children get sick with seasonal influenza. Influenza is a serious illness that can cause complications that can result in death. The single best way to protect your children from influenza (“the flu”) is to get them vaccinated each year. The flu is more dangerous than the common cold for children.
Five things you should know about influenza include:
- Children commonly need medical care because of influenza, especially before they turn 5 years old.
- Severe influenza complications are most common in children younger than 2 years old.
- Children with chronic health problems like asthma, diabetes and disorders of the brain or nervous system are at especially high risk of developing serious flu complications.
- Each year an average of 20,000 children under the age of 5 are hospitalized because of influenza complications.
- Flu seasons vary in severity, however some children die from flu each year. During the 2012-2013 influenza season, more than 165 flu-related pediatric deaths were reported.