Last year, 110 children nationally died from the flu. This year, the number stands at 84 and we still have a few months to go.
According to Dr. Frank Esper at Cleveland Clinic Children's, half the children who died from influenza had some other underlying health problem.
That means half were normal. That's why doctors stress getting flu shots for children.
"A lot of children that succumbed from the flu, didn't get the flu shot," says Dr. Esper. "It's our best protection to prevent dying from the flu. You may still get sick, but it won't be nearly as bad if you didn't get the flu shot."
The good news: The CDC says the flu shot is about 36% effective in adults and even better for kids.
Nearly 1400 people have been hospitalized with flu at Cleveland Clinic, many of them children. Bacteria pneumonia is usually what puts them there.
"The flu opens up the back door for other germs that kick you when you're down and make your pneumonia even worse," explains Dr. Esper.
There's good news on the horizon. We've seen a push for more funding for influenza treatment and a Japanese company says it has a drug that knocks out the flu in 24 hours. We'll have to wait and see if it gets approved here.
So remember this, it's not too late to get your flu shot. If you or someone you love seems to be getting better, but then gets really sick again, that could be a sign of a secondary infection and medical attention is needed.
For those who ask 'when should I take my kid to the hospital?' Dr. Esper says if fever stays above 103 degrees for several days, if there's trouble breathing, if the child can't eat or especially drink because that can lead to dehydration, those are definite reasons to take them to the doctor or emergency room.