AKRON, Ohio — Akron Children's Hospital issued a warning to Northeast Ohio parents after reporting COVID-19 cases in children have grown ten-fold in just the past two months.
The hospital reported more than 60 children, of all ages, were sick enough to be hospitalized so far during this pandemic, with half of those cases happening the past eight weeks.
Dr. John Crow, Akron Children’s Hospital Associate Chief Medical Officer, told News 5 parents need to enforce mask-wearing and hand washing even more diligently as we head into the Christmas season.
Crow said parents have to keep a close watch on their child's circle of friends and their extracurricular activities.
The doctor confirmed some of the children admitted have required care in the intensive care unit, with some admitted for a serious complication of COVID-19, known as a multi-system inflammatory syndrome.
“We’ve had three in the ICU just in the last two weeks," Crow said.
“They come in with like a heart failure process. It’s called multi-system because they can be in renal failure, they can have GI problems.”
“Their playmates, you just don’t know when it’s playmates that come from another group of people how careful they’ve been.”
“Kids are at risk, we don’t want anybody in the ICU, you don’t want a child in the ICU over the Christmas holiday.”
“Do everything you can to limit and make sure you know who the playmates are and know the family, know that it's a family that’s as vigilant as you are."
“I would be careful about having playmates eat in your home where they have to take their masks off.”
Dr. Claudia Hoyen with Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital told News 5 COVID-19 cases in children are up eight-fold at her campus since October.
Hoyen said communication is crucial in helping to gauge your child's COVID-19 risk and parents should consider putting sports, practices, and extra activities on-hold until after the holiday season.
“I actually have specific questions for my kids," Hoyen said.
“As a parent, asking questions and talking with the other parents that the kids are going to be with.”
“When it comes to extracurricular activities it’s a hard choice, but I think you really have to look at your family and make sure. If there is someone in your family who would be compromised by COVID-19, this may be a season to forego.”