PARENTS across Ayrshire are being urged get pre-school children vaccinated against the flu this winter.

Children aged two to five are eligible for a free nasal spray vaccine as part of the Scottish Government’s national flu vaccination programme 2019/20.

Parents simply need to call their GP practice to make an appointment.

Pre-school children who contract flu will experience the same symptoms as adults, including a high temperature, chills, aching muscles, a headache, a stuffy nose, a dry cough and a sore throat lasting up to a week. It can be very unpleasant for them and the best way to offer your child protection is to get them immunised.

Every year in NHS Ayrshire and Arran, children are hospitalised for flu. Even healthy children can become seriously ill from it. Protecting children can also stop it spreading to family, friends and others inthe community who may be at high-risk from complications as a result of the illness.

Doctor Joy Tomlinson, director of public health, said: “Flu is an unpredictable and serious disease. We can’t emphasise enough that the facts show the flu vaccine is the safest and most effective way to help protect against flu and its complications.”