Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has shown that vaccinated people are generally safe from getting infected by the delta variant of the coronavirus. When breakthrough cases occur and people get infected, their symptoms are generally mild, or they are asymptomatic. However, vaccines are not available for children below the age of 12. Although these kids rarely get severe infections, COVID-19 numbers among the group is higher that the numbers in November and they are increasing every week.
Pediatricians say that there are a few ways by which kids can be kept safe. Some of them are the following:
- Parents and siblings 12 or above need to get vaccinated so that they don’t pass on infections to younger kids.
- Parents should ensure that those who come in contact with their kids are also vaccinated, whether they are extended family members, schoolteachers, and others.
- Parents should strongly recommend good hygiene among all the family members.
- All members of the family should be told to cover coughs and sneezes with their elbow.
- Parents should make mask wearing essential yet fun for children, mainly indoors.
- Physical distancing of three feet should be maintained.
- Good ventilation should be maintained.
- Parents should talk to kids about the coronavirus in a calm and matter of fact way.
- Parents should encourage kids to speak up if they are feeling ill and say that staying at home is not a punishment.
- Children should be encouraged to play outdoors in the yard rather than indoors with a few neighbors’ kids.
- Older kids could stream together video games, which is what many of them prefer to play.
It is said that there will not be a vaccine available by fall for kids below 12, when most schools are expected to open. Although it has been mandated that children above the age of 2 should wear masks, there are some school districts in some states that do not mandate its use. Pediatricians recommend that children should wear masks and go to school as they say that masks are effective and in-person learning is the best learning.