Doctors observe rise in COVID-19 hospitalizations among children

Coronavirus

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — In general, the vast majority of children do very well handling COVID-19. But as the number of hospitalizations rises, a new trend is emerging with more kids being hospitalized, too.

According to the National Institutes of Health, more than 1,400 children are hospitalized with the virus across the country. Doctors tell 8 News Now while hospital rates are higher recently, as of Monday, they are not overwhelmed.

“It looks like we’re in the midst of the beginning of what may be a fourth wave of infections,” said Dr. David Di John, associate professor of pediatrics at the Kirk Kerkorian School of Medicine UNLV.

He says the unvaccinated are now a major concern with the delta variant spreading.

“And that includes children, who are basically at this point, too young to be vaccinated because the vaccines have not yet been approved for children under 12 years of age,” Di John explained. “…I’m seeing more children now in the hospital with COVID than perhaps at any time during the pandemic, or just about at any time I have now. Even newborns.”

Dr. Jay Fisher, head of the pediatric department at UMC, agrees.

“We’ve seen children of all ages admitted with COVID-related complications, down to the newborn period all the way up to teenagers,” he shared.

Those complications include COVID, pneumonia and the need for oxygen. The tough part? There is no vaccine available for those under 12.

If your child is very sick, and you are concerned, don’t wait and don’t let some ER wait times prevent you from getting the right treatment.

“We try to see each patient within 20 minutes of arrival. It does vary moment to moment. Sometimes, it’s pretty instantaneous,” Fisher said. “Other times, we have wait times up to an hour.”

Although ER wait times vary, most hospitals have them posted on their websites.

Di John stressed, “This disease is serious. It has significant mortality, and so again, the message that I would give is that vaccination is better than disease.”

Doctors recommend everyone to continue wearing a mask when indoors and say the only way to protect your kids is for those who are eligible for the vaccine to get it.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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