When Joelle Hughes, from England, tucked her daughter in for a good night’s sleep this past January, she had no idea that her 16-month-old would never wake up. After recently learning from autopsy reports that little Lulabelle died from the flu, Joelle is now hoping to raise awareness about the importance of flu shots, so that other parents don’t have to go through the same traumatic experience.
Joelle recently shared in a Facebook post that the toddler’s cause of death turned out to be respiratory issues caused by the flu. The young mother said she wants to share her devastating story online in order to educate others on the importance of making sure children get the influenza vaccine during the winter.
“She went to bed with no symptoms of any illness so it would have been the very beginning of the flu,” she wrote on Facebook. “It’s likely she developed respiratory problems while she slept. Please, I beg people when the winter months come, go to your [doctor] and book your children in for the flu vaccine! Lula’s tiny body just couldn’t cope and resulted in her being taken from us far too early.”
Joelle later added more information to the post about how babies can receive vaccines in the UK. “I should add on to this by saying if your child is under 2 they will not give your baby the flu nasal spray, you have to go private and pay for the flu injection,” Joelle wrote. “So everyone with babies please look into having this done!!”
In the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that everyone 6 months and over get an influenza vaccine each year. Getting vaccinated yourself can also protect everyone around you, too. About 60 percent of Americans go without the flu vaccine every season according to the CDC, but with flu cases on the rise, it might be a good idea to make a change, for the sake of you and your family.
For more information about the seasonal flu vaccine, visit cdc.gov.