Doctors have been adamant that the COVID-19 pandemic is spreading among the unvaccinated, but it’s easy to forget that includes children who may be too young to get the vaccine. In Colorado, children make up more than 27% of COVID cases right now.
“Our highest rate of transmission, and it’s been that way for the last couple of weeks, is occurring in that 6-to-11-year-old population. So, those are our school kids that are really too young to be vaccinated and that is followed by that 12-to-17-year-old population,” said Dr. Rachel Herlihy, the State of Colorado Epidemiologist in the state’s weekly COVID-19 update.
Dr. Reginald Washington the Chief Medical Officer of Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children, says he is seeing the same thing in his hospital, “But, we up to this point have adequate capacity nurses etcetera so we are not under stress at the moment.”
It would be easy to blame the start of school for the spread among children, but Washington says that may not be the case.
“Kids are out and about. They go to school. They are exposed to adults. So, we can’t really do a lot of contact tracing,” he says.
Washington also notes that they have found most kids are not hospitalized by COVID-19, but they have seen some pediatric deaths. His advice, if you have a sick kid, take them to a doctor no matter what it may be.
“Just because a child may have COVID or may not have COVID, if they are sick, they need to be seen because they could have RSV or some other illness.”
He also urges parents to be smart about what they let their kids do and who they do it with.
“Playing outside is a good idea, playing inside- maybe not. Being around a bunch of adults who are not wearing masks is probably not a good idea,” says Washington.