NBCPhiladelphia.com - David Hall, Brian Iacone
A South Jersey community is coping with a heartbreaking loss. A kindergarten student died on Friday from complications of the flu.
Burlington Township school officials have confirmed a kindergarten student died of complications from the flu Friday.
County School Superintendent Christopher Manno says the five-year old attended B. Bernice Young Elementary School. He released a statement Sunday informing parents of the girl's death.
“It is with great sadness that I inform you of the sudden passing of one of our B. Bernice Young School students. First and foremost, please keep the family in your thoughts and prayers.”
The girl's identity wasn't released.
The child did however get a flu shot this year, school officials said.
The school is undergoing special cleaning and warned parents to consult with a doctor if their child is experiencing flu-like symptoms, said officials.
Grief counselors were on hand at the school on Monday and they also put out information on their website with tips to help parents talk to their children.
"It's devastating, it's heartbreaking," said Kristal Wilson, whose son attends the school. "It's the worst thing that could happen to a parent."
Burlington County health officer Bob Gogats says that getting two shots a month apart can help build up a child's immune system. Even still, he says in places like a school, fighting the flu becomes more difficult.
"I'm telling parents to keep their children home if they are sick and to call their doctor," said Gogats.
"Make sure they practice good personal hygiene and isolate an adult or child if they have the flu."
For more tips on how to fight the flu, check out the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.
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