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COVID-19's Impact On Kids & How To Keep Them Safe

child wearing mask outside
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The coronavirus pandemic is ramping up around the country and some of the most vulnerable people are children.

The pandemic is ramping up around the country and some of the most vulnerable people are children. Hospitalizations of kids with COVID-19 have hit a record high, as children 11 and under remain ineligible for the vaccine.

Dr. Smriti Khare is the president of primary care at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin. She explains how COVID-19 impacts kids and how we can help keep them safe.

While there are a small number of children experiencing COVID-19 complications, Khare notes there are still major concerns around children's health. "I think the most serious element that can happen is this what we call MIS-C, which is multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children," Khare says. "And that is one of the most serious complications for COVID-19 for children. And this is where multiple organs in the body are actually impacted. And oftentimes, we recognize that the child probably had an asymptomatic or very mild case of COVID-19 weeks prior to these symptoms arising."

Children under 12 years old are not eligible to get the vaccine, but that may change, according to Khare. She notes that vaccine manufacturers are undergoing pediatric trials right now with some are waiting to get approved by the FDA.

Meanwhile to prepare for the school year, Khare recommends that you continue to wash your hands, social distance and get the vaccine if you haven't already. She acknowledges, "One last thing I would say is we'd love for kids to be back in school this year. The American Academy of Pediatrics really believes that, that would be the right thing for children and for us to be able to do that. We want to make our community as safe as we can."

Joy Powers hosts and produces Lake Effect. She joined WUWM in 2016.
Kobe Brown is WUWM's Eric Von fellow.
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