Riley Children’s Hospital sees number of children in emergency rooms rise with COVID-19 – WISH-TV | Indianapolis News | Indiana weather

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – Riley Hospital for Children is seeing an increase in the number of children with coronavirus in their emergency rooms.

The increase coincides with the surge in the delta variant of COVID-19.

More than 80 to 90% of COVID-19 infections in Indiana are now caused by the delta variant, according to Dr. John Christenson, professor of clinical pediatrics at the Ryan White Center for Pediatric Infectious Disease and director of global health and medical infection prevention. at Riley Children’s Hospital.

Children are not immune to COVID-19 and those under 12 are not yet eligible for the vaccine.

Christenson told News 8 that Riley is seeing more children in her emergency room.

“Over the past few days, the number of cases presenting to the emergency room has increased significantly from January,” said Christenson.

He said the good news is that the majority are not admitted to hospital but are simply seen in the emergency room and sent home.

“The majority are unvaccinated children under the age of 12, although sometimes we see older children who still have not been vaccinated. But the majority are younger, so still in this group who have not been vaccinated. “

“Yeah, it’s scary,” relative Alyssa Hay told News 8.

A mother of two young children, Hay says she is well aware of the delta variant of the coronavirus.

“I’m worried, yeah, we’re kinda sticking to ourselves. Or just come to the playground and we know the kids who are here, ”said Hay.

She and her husband are vaccinated and are doing everything possible to keep their children safe.

“My daughter wears a mask every time we go inside. She’s pretty good about it, ”Hay said.

But not all children are good at it. Christenson spoke about the reasons for the increase in the number of cases in children.

“It’s multifactorial,” Christenson said. “First, you have an unvaccinated community in the children. Even those over 12 years old, the majority of them are still not vaccinated. But under 12, they are absolutely unvaccinated, so they depend on being protected by those around them, using masks and maintaining social distancing. We know a lot of people have relaxed this. They don’t use masks, they socialize more. They go to large gatherings.

Christenson said there are things parents can do now to protect their children if they are not old enough to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.

“We know there are some things that work to prevent infection: using masks, maintaining social distancing, avoiding large crowds. Mostly large crowds of people you don’t know who they are. Their vaccinated parents and other family members will prevent bringing the virus home and infecting children. ”

Other parents say they aren’t too worried.

“I think if you stay clean and hygienic, things will go naturally,” said Chester Thomas, a relative from Indianapolis.

Christenson also urges people with children 12 and older to get them immunized. He said anyone who can get vaccinated should be vaccinated.

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