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COVID cases spike among pediatric patients

Pediatric COVID cases
Pediatric COVID cases(WTVY)
Published: Jan. 13, 2022 at 6:19 PM CST
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ALABAMA (WTVY) - COVID hospitalizations are at an all-time high since the pandemic began at Children’s of Alabama.

Three days ago, Children’s of Alabama had a third as many COVID hospitalizations as they do Thursday.

Dr. David Kimberlin urges parents to get their child vaccinated against COVID-19.

“Right now, children ages 5-11 in Alabama, 9 out of 10 of them are not vaccinated,” expresses David Kimberlin, M.D. Co-Director of UAB & Children’s of Alabama Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases. “Two out of three 12–17-year-olds in Alabama are not yet vaccinated. That needs to change if we’re gonna try to get to the other side of this.”

Along with typical symptoms, he’s noticed younger children react a bit differently to the Omicron variant.

Kimberlin says, “The virus has a propensity now to settle not only just in the nose and mouth and the upper part of the head like I’m pointing to here, or the lungs which has been the case all the way through, but also it impacted the upper part of the airway, and we’re seeing a lot more croup, that barky cough.”

If your child tests positive, the main thing parents need to look out for is breathing difficulty.

“Not necessarily just a cough but you know where they’re having difficulty getting enough oxygen in and they’re pulling between their ribcage, the skin is sucking in between the rips, their nose is flaring out,” explains Kimberlin. “I suggest that you touch base with your pediatrician or your family practice doctor at the very beginning of it, so they have an awareness that the infection has struck your household.”

When it comes to keeping kids safe at school, his answer is simple

“My advice for schools is that they require masking inside the schools,” expresses Kimberlin. “That is the immediate thing that schools can do to try to mitigate this a little bit.”

Making it the new norm, to keep our children out of the hospital and inside school.

“With the crisis we face right now – again, crisis we face right now, for another time during this pandemic, the immediate thing that can help us is masking,” finishes Kimberlin.

Dr. Kimberlin pointed out that while schools aren’t helping the overall pandemic, they aren’t what’s driving it.

He says everyone must do their part to make a change.

Copyright 2022 WTVY. All rights reserved.

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