Local doctor explains rise in COVID-19 cases among children, tips for parents

Posted at 9:15 PM, Aug 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-17 23:16:00-04

COLORADO SPRINGS — As schools prepare to open their doors, new data released from the CDC shows the rate of coronavirus cases in children in the United States has been steadily increasing.

Doctor Chris Nyquist with Children's Hospital Colorado says the current uptick in COVID-19 cases among children is notable in the high school to college ages.

"Elementary schools vs junior high school vs high school vs college. They all have different risks based on the populations," said Nyquist.

The hospital recommends younger children be placed in small groups or cohorts during the school day where the risk of transmission is low. It's harder to cohort older children due to the higher rate of infection and the likelihood of them not following rules.

"One out of ten of all of our COVID-19 infections is in that age range and so we don't have that equal proportion of young kids getting infected," said Nyquist. "I love teenagers and I love working with them, but it's really tough when you have peer pressure not to wear a mask."

Nyquist says it's important for parents to be role models and practice social distancing guidelines. When it comes to symptoms, there are some signs they can watch out for.

"Fever is something people look for and that's not common in children. In older children, similar to adults, fever and cough is a common symptom," said Nyquist.

Babies may only have a fever or milder symptoms. As we approach flu season, Nyquist says it's important for children to get their vaccinations.

"It's going to be tough for us to determine if it's the flu or COVID-19. So if you get vaccinations, that's actually going to help us," said Nyquist.

She says right now parents are deferring some of the basic vaccinations.

"One of the important things is getting those routine childhood vaccinations. You know the measles vaccine, influenza," said Nyquist.

She says it's important for parents to get with their local doctor to figure out the best plan to keep their family from getting the virus. Anyone with questions or concerns regarding guidelines or back to school can click here.