Kids and COVID-19

HFM_covid-19 and kids
We checked in with Dr. Catherine L. Troisi, Ph.D., Associate Professor at UTHealth School of Public Health’s Center for Infectious Diseases, to find out what parents need to know as the new school year begins.

Though children generally have milder cases of COVID-19, it is still important to protect them from the virus.

  • Kids can be infected by and transmit the virus to others.
  • Kids can develop severe cases of COVID-19. While it is not yet known if the delta variant causes more serious cases in children, it is at least twice as infectious as the original virus, leading to increased risk of exposure and infection. Approximately 20% of hospitalizations in the Houston at this time involve children, and pediatric ICUs are full in parts of the state.
  • Long term complications, known as ‘long COVID’, is a concern in children who have COVID-19.

Prevention is the best medicine!

There are several ways to protect your child’s health during the coming months:

  • Give them their best shot. Vaccines remain the best way to minimize the risk of severe COVID-19 symptoms and hospitalization. Vaccinate children 12 years and older to safeguard against Covid-19 and kids.
  • Cocoon them by having those around them – parents, relatives, teachers – vaccinated
  • Model masking. Kids take their cues from the adults around them. Providing your child with a well-fitting masks to wear in public places is an important way to keep them healthy.
  • Practice handwashing hygiene! While poor hand hygiene is not a primary way for COVID-19 to spread, it can spread other germs.
  • Support school efforts to prevent transmission of the virus. Masks and efforts to improve ventilation. If your school has these measures in place, thank them for putting kids’ health and safety first!

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