Disclosure :: this post is sponsored by Children’s Hospital New Orleans.
COVID-19 and Kids :: What Parents Need to Know This Holiday Season
To date, there have been over 1.1 million total cases of COVID-19 reported in children in the Unites States, which accounts for approximately 11.5% of all cases. While we can all agree that we are tired of COVID-19, it is important to remember that COVID-19 is not tired of us.
As we move into the holiday season, we must remain vigilant in our shared responsibility to protect our kids, families and communities from the increasing spread of COVID-19.
As rates of COVID-19 continue to rise throughout the country and here in Louisiana, the 4 Golden Rules of COVID-19 remain critical in keeping our communities healthy and our kids in school. We all know them by now: wash hands or sanitize as often as you can, mask up to protect yourself and others, social distance and stay home if you are sick.
Thankfully, Louisiana has some of the lower rates of positive cases among children when compared to other states across the country. Our overall percentage of COVID-positive cases in children is approximately 10%, compared to the national average of 11.5%. Some states, including Wyoming and South Carolina, have positive rates in children near 20% (out of the total population of positive cases).
The proportion of all new cases occurring in children between ages 0-17 years has held relatively steady since late September in Louisiana, and this is even less pronounced in Region 1, which includes New Orleans. Let’s keep up the good work!
Children thankfully still fare very well when compared to our adult population. When we look at the percentage of COVID-positive child deaths, the death rate is .01%, which is extremely low. The number of pediatric hospitalizations in Louisiana also remains very low, averaging between 1.5-2% of positive cases. To date, Louisiana has had a total of 6 childhood deaths due to COVID-19.
Taking all the positive news into consideration, it is important for families to remember that we are all in this together and that everyone, including children, can be asymptomatic carriers. Following the 4 Golden Rules of COVID-19 does not only help protect your family, but it also helps protect our older adult and at-risk populations.
Vaccines on the horizon
We are encouraged by the positive news about coronavirus vaccines which will soon be available in the Unites States and here in Louisiana. Pending approval by the FDA, the first vaccine is expected to be ready for distribution this month. We have learned that the first batches of vaccines will be prioritized for frontline healthcare workers and nursing home residents. The CDC expects that it will take between 5-12 months to roll out enough vaccine doses to cover most of the nation, pending vaccine approvals.
Safety reminder for the holiday season
While we all look forward to a time when we can safely gather again and celebrate together, staying apart now is more important – and it will save lives. Remember that the safest way to celebrate is with your own household. We all have much to be thankful for this holiday season.
About Dr. Amber Severio
Dr. Amber Severio specializes in pediatrics at Children’s Hospital Pediatrics (Carousel) located at 4224 Houma Blvd. in Metairie. She chose to practice pediatrics because she enjoys providing comprehensive medical care to children while building lasting relationships with their families. Dr. Severio believes that it is an honor to help guide parents through the challenges and joys of raising healthy children. Learn more about Dr. Severio here.