A mum has urged fellow parents to protect their kids from flu after she discovered her lifeless tot hours after putting her to bed.
Joelle Hughes one-year-old daughter Lulabelle died in her sleep from the virus.
The 22-year-old said her child had no symptoms of any illness and was “her usual cheeky self” before going to bed.
She said: “We finally have the answers behind Lulabelle’s death. I’m relieved but also devastated that something so simple can easily be prevented.
“Lulabelle’s post mortem has come back showing influenza, she went to bed with no symptoms of any illness so it would have been the very beginning of the flu.
“It’s likely she developed respiratory problems whilst she slept.
“Please I beg people, go to your GP and book your children in for the flu vaccine. Lula’s tiny body just couldn’t cope and resulted in her being taken from us far too early.”
Flu vaccines are not routinely available to babies or one-year-olds, but nasal spray vaccines are provided for free on the NHS for children aged two, three and four.
Primary school pupils in years one, two and three are also eligible for the free vaccination.
The effects of influenza on young children can range from mild symptom to a high fever and severe respiratory problems, but infant deaths are rare.
Joelle added: “My life, my angel, my beautiful soul of a daughter was taken from us so suddenly.
“We gave her cuddles and kisses like usual and tucked her into bed. I found her later that evening not breathing. I tried so hard to get my angel back but for whatever reason my little girl is needed up there.
“She was a perfect one-year-old baby girl who loved more than anything to dance, have cuddles and play with her big brother. She will be loved dearly by everyone forever.”