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In order to prevent the flu and potential cost of an emergency room visit from haunting Floridians this Halloween, the Florida Department of Health (DOH) and the Florida Healthy Kids Corporation (FHKC) recommend that children get the flu vaccine before Halloween as part of every family’s wellness plan, as well as quality health insurance.
Influenza, otherwise known as the flu, is a contagious respiratory illness caused by flu viruses. It can cause mild to severe illness, and at times can lead to death. The best way to prevent the flu is to get a flu vaccine each fall. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, each year, more than 20,000 children nationwide are hospitalized because of the flu, and two years ago, more than 140 children lost their lives to the flu.
“Proactively implementing prevention measures and seeking care if symptoms occur are some of the best ways to keep children safe this flu season,” said Florida Surgeon General Celeste Philip, MD, MPH, Secretary of DOH and Board Member of the Florida Healthy Kids Corporation. “As someone who just got a flu shot, I can tell you that it’s well worth the peace of mind you’ll have knowing you did your part to protect yourself, your family and your community this season.”
DOH recommends the following steps to prevent children from catching the flu:
Health insurance is a critical element of every family’s commitment to staying well, because the coverage allows them to get vaccinations like the flu shot, as well as treatment and medicine if they become ill. Families who don’t currently have health coverage can get affordable, comprehensive child-centered health and dental insurance for children from birth through age 18 through the Florida KidCare program.
“Routine preventive care, such as getting a flu shot, should be part of every family’s plan for a healthy, fulfilling lifestyle,” said Rebecca Matthews, CEO of the Florida Healthy Kids Corporation. “Thanks to the Florida KidCare program, which has year-round open enrollment, every Florida child can be covered and have access to the vaccinations, care and treatment they need at every stage of growth and development.”
DOH recommends parents to be on the lookout for the following flu symptoms:
For more tips to help your family have a healthy season, visit the Florida Department of Health’s resource page at FluFreeFlorida.com (#FluFreeFlorida), and remember: #VaccineBeforeHalloween.
About the Florida Healthy Kids Corporation (FHKC)
Florida Healthy Kids offers comprehensive, affordable child-centered health insurance for children ages 5 through 18 who are not eligible for Medicaid, and is part of the larger Florida KidCare program. Coverage – available through both subsidized and full-pay options – includes immunizations, doctor visits, dental care, emergency care, hospital stays and more. Insurance through Florida KidCare can be applied for year-round at FloridaKidCare.org.
About the Florida Department of Health (DOH)
The Florida Department of Health works to protect, promote and improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county and community efforts. Learn more at FloridaHealth.gov.