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Doctor Shares 6 Ways Parents Can Lower The Risk Of Children Getting COVID-19
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  • While local government units are now working on COVID-19 vaccine registration for minors ages 12 to 17 (get a list of cities here), the threat of the coronavirus and its variants persist, as seen in a new surge of cases fueled by the Delta variant the past couple of months.

    How parents can help lower the risk of children getting COVID-19

    “Children contribute a smaller number of severe COVID-19 cases and deaths than adults,” according to Dr. Mary Ann Bunyi, PIDSP President. This does not mean that they are not susceptible to infection — a recent study found that younger kids may be more likely to spread COVID-19 in the household than teens.

    What then can parents do to lower the risk of their children contracting COVID-19? In the news show Good Morning America, Dr. Jennifer Ashton, a U.S. board-certified OB-GYN and mother of two, shares six factors that parents should consider:

    Time of exposure

    According to the CDC, a cumulative time of 15 minutes in 24 hours spent with a person infected with COVID-19 makes you highly susceptible to contracting the virus. With the Delta variant, it can take less than five minutes, according to scientists.

    “The more time exposure, the higher the risk,” says Dr. Ashton. Keep this in mind when your children are interacting with others.

    Indoor vs. outdoor setting

    If going outside the home is unavoidable, always consider your destination. “Is it an indoor setting which we know has a higher risk, or is it an outdoor setting where there is better wind or ventilation,” says Dr. Ashton.


    Remember that the virus spreads easily indoors, especially when people are cramped together in an enclosed space with little to no ventilation.

    Social distancing

    “How much space will there be between your child and the people that your child will be around?” asks Dr. Ashton. Since the start of the pandemic, experts including the CDC and the Department of Health (DOH) have advised that a six-feet distance between people should be maintained to lower the risk of infection.

    Number of people

    It is best to avoid crowded places especially when you are with kids. Dr. Ashton reminds that larger areas with fewer people decrease risk of infection. So survey the premises and check how many people are in the space and whether or not they are practicing proper social distancing before entering.

    Interaction with vaccinated individuals

    One of the best ways to protect your kids from COVID-19 is to create a “cocoon” around your household wherein all adults are vaccinated. “[One option for parents] is to only put their children in environments where they know that the majority or all of the people in that environment are fully vaccinated,” says Dr. Ashton.


    “Even if everyone is not masked but your child is masked, that can add some degree of protection,” says Dr. Ashton. Wear masks not only when going out but when interacting with people outside of your household. Double masking can also increase protection against COVID-19 (read the proper way to do it here.)

    It might still take a while before the pandemic ends, but for the sake of our mental and physical well-being, we should continue with our lives while following strict health protocols in our households. As Dr. Ashton reminds, “We can’t completely shut down… there is a way to live with this virus rather than have it take over our day-to-day life.”

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