BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) – Every state is seeing a significant rise in COVID cases in recent weeks. And with the school year starting, more and more children are getting it.
“Certainly within the last 10 days, the percentage of those swabs that we test for COVID have been increasingly COVID,” Dr. Anne Byars with Liberty Mountain Pediatrics said.
As cases rise, parents are wondering what is the best way to protect kids who aren’t old enough to get the COVID-19 vaccine against the virus. Pediatricians like Dr. Byars says mask wearing, social distancing and deep cleaning are the best tools against it.
Besides COVID-19, she says kids are getting other diseases as well.
“Like influenza, cru, RSV, bronchitis, and the common cold,” Dr. Byars said.
She says spotting positive cases before testing can be a challenge, too.
“Initially, it looks like the common cold in most of these kids. And unfortunately, it doesn’t even look like that. Sometimes, it looks like a sore throat,” Dr. Byars said.
Parents are very concerned about the recent uptick in cases.
“It’s stressful. It’s hard,” parent Jarquise Edwards said.
Edwards has a one year old at home. Since her baby isn’t old enough to get the vaccine, she says they are practicing every precaution they can.
“I don’t pick him up right away (when I get home). I change my clothes, wash my hands, kind of keep the house sanitize,” Edwards said.
Although she isn’t a fan of the mask, Edwards says she does it to protect her family and loved ones.
“Because I need to protect myself, my family, and dance kids,” Edwards said.
Edwards and experts like Dr. Byars believe those of age who can get vaccinated will help as well.
“I understand that the vaccine is not perfect, but it’s like wearing a seat belt. You can still get in a wreck, but you’re not going to get as injured or killed,” Dr. Byars said.
Dr. Byars says masks may not prevent all germs, but they do eliminate a majority of them, meaning less spread of COVID or other diseases.