Parents of three-year-old boy who died of meningitis issue important warning to other parents

The parents of a three-year-old boy who died of meningitis are urging other parents to look out for signs of the condition and act fast.

Hector Kirkham, from Lancaster, sadly passed away last week on the same day he was taken to the Royal Lancaster Infirmary, after contracting meningococcal septicaemia at nursery.

Now his parents are urging others to stay vigilant and act urgently if they suspect their children could have meningitis.

They said in a statement: ‘Hector was perfect in every way, our absolute world, our sunshine, our very best friend.

‘Hector became very poorly very fast from contracting meningococcal septicaemia, Hector’s symptoms of sickness and a temperature only presented 12 hours before we sadly lost the love of our lives.

‘We urge all parents to be vigilant and any signs or symptoms that point towards meningitis being a possibility please please seek urgent medical advice, don’t delay.’

Another child from Hector’s nursery, Little Learners Galgate, was also taken to hospital but has since been discharged.

Responding to concerns, health protection nurse consultant for Public Health England North West Grainne Nixon assured parents that the risk of another child contracting the disease is ‘very low’ and that staff and other pupils have received antibiotics as a precaution.

‘We understand that there will be concern among parents and staff at the nursery, and we’d like to assure parents that the risk of another case arising in the nursery is very low.

‘Meningococcal disease does not spread very easily. As a precaution, all children and staff at the nursery have been offered antibiotics to reduce the chance of them carrying the bacteria which causes the disease.

‘PHE has also written to staff and parents of children at the nursery to provide information and remind them of the signs and symptoms of meningococcal infection, which can cause meningitis as well as septicaemia.

‘Children and staff who are well have been advised to attend nursery as normal.Although meningococcal disease is uncommon, people should be aware of the symptoms that can include a fever, headache, rapid breathing, drowsiness, shivering, vomiting and cold hands and feet.

‘It can also cause a characteristic rash which does not fade when pressed against a glass. Also, some people may experience diarrhoea and vomiting.

‘Early recognition of meningitis and septicaemia symptoms can greatly improve the outcome of the disease and so anyone who is concerned about any of these symptoms, at any time, should seek medical advice immediately or call NHS 111.’