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Concern over COVID-19's impact on kids growing as delta variant spreads

'We need to basically go back to the strategies that worked because we need to put an end to this.'
Posted at 7:24 PM, Aug 05, 2021

INDIANAPOLIS — COVID-19 and kids. It's a constant topic of conversation throughout this pandemic, and with the delta variant taking hold, COVID-19 is popping up more and more in kids.

"COVID is just been annoying due to the fact that people aren't getting vaccinated and moving forward with it," said David Walden of Lawrence, and father to two-year-old daughter, Aria.

Waldon said his family is hoping things return to more normal soon to help with socialization of their toddler without worry of getting the virus.

"I'm just wanting her to be out and about and I don't want to know four walls," Walden explained. "I want her to know the open world."

But not everyone feels the same.

Another parent said she didn't share in the same concerns, adding that her family is unvaccinated. But regardless of personal opinion, this is what Riley Hospital for Children is seeing right now.

"The numbers over the last few days, you're talking about 30 to 35 kids coming to the emergency room," Dr. John Christenson, Medical Director of Infection Prevention at Riley Hospital for Children said. "When you compare that to numbers back in January, probably that same number, you'd probably see it over a week or two."

It's a trend seen not just here in Indianapolis, but also across the states.

"We have no clear evidence that the Delta strain or the Delta variant is more severe in children. Expect for it when it comes to numbers. We know that this virus is more transmissible," Christenson said.

He also added that most kids coming to Riley's emergency room are able to go home and are not admitted. But, still, he said even though many kids experience mild symptoms, it can quickly spread.

"Probably a lot of our colleagues out in the community who are seeing children in other facilities and also in urgent care centers and other doctors offices, so we may just be seeing the tip of the iceberg."

Christenson is asking parents to continue to keep up with good health measures — that means social distancing, masking and hand washing.

It's something that Walden said his family plans to do until little Aria can get vaccinated.

Christenson also urges any child over the age of 12 who is not yet vaccinated, for their parents to get them vaccinated.

He also urges unvaccinated parents and guardians to get the shot to also limit the risk of spreading it to their children.