BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — A Birmingham doctor believes the omicron variant could be worse for children than the delta variant as hospitalizations continue to rise.

Dr. Gigi Youngblood, pediatrician at the Children’s of Alabama, spoke with CBS 42 Morning News the difference and similarities between the effects delta and omicron variant in children. Youngblood said that the hospital was “seeing kids get sicker than they have historically have thought out” with COVID-19.

Youngblood emphasized that anyone who wants to be tested for COVID should not go to the emergency room due to the continuing hospital worker shortage throughout Alabama and the country. Instead, she recommended going to a testing site, a doctor, or urgent care for COVID testing.

If children are having difficulty catching their breathe or drinking enough water in order to urinate, Youngblood recommended taking the child to the emergency room. Children’s of Alabama does have a new medication from Pfizer that’s been approved by the FDA, but it’s in short supply to help fight the virus in children 12-years-old and up.

For more information on the coronavirus, visit the Children’s of Alabama website here.

Dr. Youngblood’s full interview can be watched in the video player above.