Doctors warn parents to watch for COVID-19 symptoms in children 5 and under
BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - On Friday, Jan. 14 the Louisiana Department of Health reported around 3,000 new COVID-19 cases for children under five years old, and unfortunately some are having to go to the hospital.
Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Hospital says there are more than 10 children of that age range in their hospital beds. Doctors say since these kids can’t get vaccinated, this was bound to happen.
Mother of three, Devin Neal, says she got COVID from a family member. Her husband and her 2 year old recently got over the virus.
“The 2-year-old had a fever for about four days, off and on. He had a runny nose that was about it. He did end up having an ear infection during,” said Neal.
As a mom, she worried, but luckily everyone ended up being okay. “I was constantly checking the breathing I was watching their fevers. I was concerned if it was going to turn for the worst, what’s going to happen. Thankfully, it didn’t, but I know for some people it does,” said Neal.
While the number of children in the hospital with COVID is still small, the number is growing.
“Kids below five can’t get vaccinated, so they rely on others to be vaccinated to protect them, and just the sheer number of COVID cases is due to Omicron. Sort of kids have to get infected because it is nowhere else for it to go,” said Dr. Michael Bolton who is the Pediatric Infectious Disease Facility for Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Hospital.
Dr. Bolton says if a child does come down with COVID-19, there are a few symptoms to keep an eye on.
“Using medicine to calm down a fever if they have it, make sure your child’s breathing is okay. If they are having any runny nose, congestion, cough. If you are concerned let your pediatrician know,” said Dr. Bolton.
However, doctors like Bolton say the best advice has not changed, mask up and get vaccinated to protect the children who can’t.
Bolton adds that the flu and common cold sometimes have similar symptoms as the Omicron variant. If parents start seeing those symptoms and if they are concerned, the best thing to do is to get tested and talk to your pediatrician.
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