The COVID-19 threat is easing, so you might think we’d spend less time discussing viruses, testing, and preventing illness. However, sick kids seem to be everywhere these days. Children’s hospitals are reportedly overflowing as pediatricians treat many patients.
Despite low vaccination rates among kids, there isn’t a massive outbreak of illness caused by COVID-19. Children are being hit harder than usual by respiratory viruses like RSV, rhinovirus, and the flu. Here are some tips for parents regarding the current confluence of viruses.
Infections Are Spiking Right Now. Why?
From April to June 2020, the number of pediatric intensive care unit admissions for bronchiolitis and pneumonia, potential complications of respiratory viruses, dramatically decreased.
Dr. Janine Zee-Cheng, one of the study authors, said, “Bronchiolitis had an 80% drop after the school closures went into effect.” It’s common for kids to experience a period of frequent illness when they first start attending daycare or preschool.
How Do Doctors Diagnose Kids With Viruses?
The surge of illness is forcing doctors to see more troubling symptoms, as well as more hospitalizations. Altmann said, “Unfortunately, kids are getting sick every other week. They’re missing a lot of schools.”
Viruses such as RSV, however, are not very sick or cause hospitalizations, but they disrupt health care systems and other systems. Parents must be aware of any signs their child has trouble breathing, while most illnesses cause mild symptoms.
Is There A Way To Keep My Kids Healthy?
Frequently handwashing and disinfection of high-touch surfaces like doorknobs will prevent the spreading of infectious diseases. Children with fevers or other significant symptoms should stay home from school.
You can protect those who need it most, such as newborns too young for vaccination, older adults, and chronically ill people, by vaccinating your children against these illnesses. Amin said, “This is when they should be resting and at peak contagiousness. We all want to do our part to help reduce the spread.”