Cardinal Glennon’s doctor advises parents on risk management to protect their children from the virus

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ST. LOUIS – In the United States, hospitalizations of children under the age of 5 are increasing.

Dr Rachel Charney, medical director of emergency management at SSM Health Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital, says they are seeing one of the highest rates they have had, but some of the children hospitalized with COVID-19 for at the moment are not hospitalized specifically for their symptoms, but who have COVID.

She says this last variation doesn’t seem to be more difficult for young children, but it’s so transferable at all levels.

“Our younger children also haven’t had the opportunity to be vaccinated, and vaccination rates in general in our children are lower than in adults,” Charney said.

The doctor recommends vaccinating eligible children to protect younger ones and manage risk.

“So mask up when you can; when they are old enough to hide. Really think about where you spend time and with whom, and try to keep it outside as much as possible,” she said. “It’s tough. We all want to start going back to our normal social habits and birthday parties. I think we have to get through this omicron wave and hopefully life can go back to a bit more normal after this.

Charney also advises limiting who does the shopping.

“We went back to sending just one member – an adult member – to run these errands. The fewer children and people in this store, the better,” she said.

Outdoor activities and trips to the playground are among the safest activities.

“But the risk of being outside on a playground is quite low. And when you combine that with the importance of getting kids fresh air and exercise, I think it’s one of the safest things you can do,” Charney said.

And be very considerate as a parent not to take you or someone in your family anywhere if they are sick.

“Right now, if you have symptoms — you know, stomach bug symptoms, upper respiratory tract symptoms — you just have to assume it’s COVID,” she said. .

Dr Charney also wants parents to know that the symptoms have changed slightly from what they saw in previous infections.

“So we see a lot of upper airways. So sore throat, children hoarse and lose their voice. Children presenting with croup where we have never seen croup as a presentation of covid before. Now we are,” Dr. Charney explained. “And also we see children who have no upper respiratory symptoms, but who have symptoms of stomach bugs. So they vomit or have diarrhea but they don’t cough, runny nose or sneeze.

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