“YOU know your own children – you can’t be too cautious.”
Those are the words of Kevin and Sara Peach as they continue to raise awareness of the disease that tragically took their three-year-old daughter Katie from them almost two years ago.
This week is Meningitis Awareness Week and for the Peach family, of St John’s Drive, Newhall, it is a chance for them to stress how important it is to be aware of the symptoms.
The couple told the Mail: “It goes from something that seems like a normal childhood illness to something so serious in such a short space of time.
“People think it is the rash you look for but in reality the rash is the last of the symptoms you get and there are other symptom’s first.
“Unfortunately those symptoms are similar to other illnesses but it is the coincidence of all of them together that you have to look out for.
“You know your own children – you can’t be too cautious. It is much better to be turned away for being a pest than to wait and see.
“If anyone is unsure look at the Meningitis Research Foundation website – there is lots of information around and even phone apps now you can download.
“It is coming up to the peak season now for bacterial meningitis so it is worth just spending a few minutes looking up the symptoms
During the awareness week, the Meningitis Research Foundation (MRF) is calling on the Government to introduce a vaccine for Meningococcal B (Men B), the strain which killed Katie in December 2011.
That call, unsurprisingly, is being backed by Mr and Mrs Peach.
Since Katie’s death, thousands of pounds has been raised in her memory, with Mr Peach himself completing a 170-mile bike ride to help raise £35,000 for charity.
The couple said that has helped as they looked to rebuild their lives, as have their two daughters, nine-year-old Lucy and 14-week old Lottie.
They said: “There are difficult times and easier times – it is something that never leaves you. You just cope.
“When we see any symptoms in our children now we are always thinking it is something – we always keep an eye out.”