Family & Parenting

Mom Urges Parents To Take Kids To ER After 7-Year-Old Son Dies Day After Flu Diagnosis

He was diagnosed with flu and strep throat, and was found dead the next day.

The current flu season has already reached epidemic proportions, with schools closing for “flu days,” hospitals seeing overcrowding and at least 37 pediatric deaths reported so far.

One of the most recent tragedies likely linked to the flu was the death of 7-year-old Kevin Baynes Jr. from Hurt, Virginia. Baynes died just two days after he began to show signs of the flu and strep throat. Now, his mother is urging others not to ignore warning signs and to take their children to the emergency room if they suspect something is wrong.

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Trip To The Emergency Room

According to Roanoke’s WDBJ-TV, Kevin was sent home from school on Jan. 26 after he vomited and fell asleep in class.

His mother, Samantha Baynes, let him sleep for the night with the hope he would feel better in the morning. But the next day, Kevin was unable to walk or keep food down. That’s when Baynes took her son to the emergency room, where he was diagnosed with strep throat and the flu before being sent home.

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“We tried to give him the medication and everything we were supposed to do and he just wasn’t getting any better,” Baynes told WDBJ.

The next morning, Kevin’s older sister found him unresponsive. He was taken to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

“Watch your children closely,” Baynes said. “Don’t hesitate to go to the emergency room. No matter what time it is day or night, just take them.”

GoFundMe/Kevin Baynes Jr (7years old)

Officials Are Calling It A ‘Flu-Related Death’

While Kevin’s family has not been given an official cause of death, Centra Gretna Medical Center, where the boy was diagnosed and treated, has released a statement. It reads, in part, “Due to the child’s most recent diagnosis, we are treating this as a flu-related death and are awaiting final results from the medical examiner. As is customary, Centra is working closely with the Virginia Department of Health as they proceed with an investigation in to this case.”

The statement also said that if Kevin’s death was caused by the flu, it “appears to be an aggressive flu strain.” The hospital went on to recommend people in the area get flu vaccines if they hadn’t already. “It is not too late to vaccinate your family.”

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Getty Images | Joe Raedle

Symptoms To Watch Out For

The statement from the medical center that treated Kevin also shared the CDC’s emergency fly-related symptoms to watch out for.

“According to the CDC, emergency warning signs of the flu may include: fast or troubled breathing, bluish skin color, not drinking enough fluids, not waking up or not interacting, flu-like symptoms improve but then return with high fever and a worse cough or severe vomiting and diarrhea,” the statement read.

More common flu symptoms to keep an eye out for include aches, sore throat, fever and headache.

A recent warning also urged parents to look out for hives on their kids’ skin as a possible symptom.


If you or your child seems to improve from the flu, then get worse again—or if there are symptoms like persistent vomiting, chest pressure or confusion, or difficulty breathing or any of the other signs highlighted by the CDC you should take a trip to the emergency room.

Symptoms of strep throat include sore throat, fever and swollen lymph nodes in the neck.

A GoFundMe page has been set up to raise money for Kevin’s funeral. More than $11,000 has been raised in just three days.