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Ohio child COVID-19 cases climbing, experts give parents advice

Posted at 9:34 PM, Aug 11, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-11 23:18:06-04

CLEVELAND — Medical experts in Northeast Ohio and across the state have issued a warning and are giving advice to parents concerning a growing number of child COVID-19 cases statewide.

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine hosted leaders with the Ohio Children's Hospital Association during his Aug. 11 address, to outline an increase in COVID-19 cases, for the sixth consecutive month, among those ages zero to 19 years old.

The governor unveiled the latest data from the Ohio Department of Health, showing child COVID-19 cases climbed to 12.8% when cases in children only made up 2.4% back in March.

Nationally,a joint reportfrom the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children’s Hospital Association indicated COVID-19 cases in children rose by 90% in just the past four weeks.

Locally, Dr. Claudia Hoyen, Director of Infection Control with Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital, told News 5 Northeast Ohio has also seen a steady climb in child COVID-19 cases, even though she said the numbers are not alarming.

Hoyen stressed that parents should practice the ABC's of COVID-19 prevention, especially during the final few weeks leading up to the beginning of the school year.

“There are kids now in daycare, there are kids now in camps, if they get it, they may bring it home to their families, so we all really need to be doing our part,” Hoyen said.

“When it comes to COVID-19, for the most part, kids do well. But when you look at it in the individual, you don’t know which child is going to end up in the hospital on a ventilator. You don’t which child may have the Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome.”

"Always wear your mask, be aware of symptoms, clean things frequently, including your hands, and distance yourself physically, but not socially.”

Hoyen said summer activities and more child testing are the key reasons for the increase in pediatric cases.

Dr. Patricia Manning with Cincinnati Children’s Hospital said parents need to start enforcing a sense of structure and a daily schedule in the lives of their children before the start of the school year.

“The younger you are the more likely you may be to spread because your care has to be in more close contact," Hoyen said.

“Doing your best, recognizing that some distance is better than no distance, that 6-feet is optimal, but it’s not always going to be achievable.”

“Parents talking to their children and giving them a warning and some heads up about what might be coming. Doing a little bit of rehearsal on mask-wearing and hand hygiene.”