Throughout the pandemic, many parents believed there was one little piece of relief they could rely on: that children were somewhat “immune” to COVID-19. It was one of the first pieces of data about the virus that researchers found rather remarkable: children just didn’t seem to be getting the thing, or at least not nearly as much as adults. Nature.com confirmed this information, reporting that infection and death due to COVID-19 is very rare among children and of the very small number who do die, preexisting conditions are a factor. Nature.com’s report states that only about two in every one million deaths in children under the age of 18 are due to COVID-19. They do note that Black children, if infected, are more likely to require intensive care for COVID-19 and for an associated condition called multisystem inflammatory syndrome. But even then, the numbers are miniscule.
This information might have made parents feel pretty free to let their kids lead normal (or as normal as possible) lives during the pandemic. But, with schools opening back up, experts warn that this apparent immunity kids have against the virus could prove false. CNN reports that COVID-19 cases among children are 14 times as high now as they were in July. Child cases now represent 18 percent of all cases, compared to the 14 percent they represented throughout the pandemic. The scariest part may be that these numbers are occurring before schools are reopening. While some schools are pushing for mask mandates, some governors are banning those, so it’s falling on the parents to keep kids safe. Below are some tips for parents to keep their kids safe as the COVID-19 virus is still at large and children are going back to school.
Get your kids vaccinated
The CDC recommends all individuals 12 years of age and older get vaccinated. Unless your child’s physician recommends against the vaccine for specific health reasons pertaining to your child’s conditions, get your child vaccinated. The vaccine has been shown to drastically lower the chances of hospitalization and death due to COVID-19, as well as reduce the chances of contracting or spreading it in the first place. Some schools are doubling as vaccine sites so you may be able to get your child vaccinated right at their place of education. And if you the parent aren’t vaccinated, get vaccinated so you can be a role model to your children.