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What do guidelines mean to vaccinated parents with kids who aren't?

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Posted at 4:54 PM, May 14, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-14 19:49:16-04

CLEVELAND — As the CDC issues new guidelines for vaccinated adults, some parents are wondering what it means for their children who are too young to be eligible for the vaccine.

Dr. Claudia Hoyen, a pediatric infectious diseases specialist with University Hospitals Rainbow Babies and Children's Hospital said that depends on how much risk parents are comfortable with.

"Children aren't at very high risk for having severe disease, but if it happens to be your child who does, it can be a problem," said Hoyen.

Under the new guidelines, fully vaccinated adults do not have to wear masks outdoors and in most cases don't have to cover-up inside either.

But since children under 12 years old aren't eligible to receive the vaccine yet, Hoyen said most should continue wearing masks.

She said that's especially true if kids are inside or around large groups of people outside.

Hoyen believes it is important parents talk to their children about the differences in the rules.

"An easy way to do that is to say 'look, mommy and daddy were able to get the vaccine, so we're protected. It's like we have a pretend mask on that you can't see. You're too little yet and they're still doing the studies. You need to wear your masks because you don't have that invisible mask on yet,'" she said.

Hoyen said it's also important parents consider whether parents and their children will have contact with family members with medical conditions that may make them more susceptible to complications from COVID-19.

It's why Erin Bradley, mother to a 6-year-old with asthma said she continues to wear her mask despite being fully vaccinated.

"I don't want to bring it home to my children and I definitely don't want to inadvertently spread it to anyone else," said Bradley.

RELATED: DeWine announces Ohio matching CDC guidance, will not require masks for vaccinated individuals