Adhering to safety measures like masks, hand-washing, social distancing and staying home if you’re sick will reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission among children. (Black Press file photo)

Adhering to safety measures like masks, hand-washing, social distancing and staying home if you’re sick will reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission among children. (Black Press file photo)

B.C. Children’s Hospital says COVID-19 hospitalizations for children remain low

Hospitalizations have remained at about two per cent throughout the pandemic

Cases of COVID-19 in children are rising across the U.S., but Dr. Laura Sauvé of the B.C. Children’s Hospital says COVID-19 cases among children in this province have remained largely unchanged.

The increase in cases stateside is driven by the more infectious delta variant of COVID-19. In B.C., almost 100 per cent of new COVID-19 infections are the delta variant. However, Sauvé said that the proportion of COVID-19 cases for kids aged 19 and under has been relatively stable in the province at about 17 per cent, while hospitalizations have remained at about two per cent throughout the pandemic.

RELATED: Toddler marks youngest British Columbian to die of COVID-19

“Children get less sick from COVID-19 than adults – but, rarely, they can get quite sick,” she said. “And we still don’t know if the delta variant is more severe for children.”

Sauvé said the more severe impacts of the pandemic on children have been mental health, developmental and educational challenges.

RELATED: New study to track COVID-19 illness, vaccine safety and effectiveness in children

“Across the country, we’re seeing increased rates of hospitalizations — very severe mental health presentations in children. We’re also hearing from family doctors and pediatricians that they’re seeing record numbers of children with different mental health concerns including anxiety, depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder or other developmental impacts.”

To curb the spread of COVID-19 among children, Sauvé recommends following all public health measures, such as social distancing, hand washing, mask-wearing, staying home when you’re sick and above all: getting vaccinated. Adhering to those measures will also reduce the risk of contracting other respiratory viruses.

RELATED: COVID-19 vaccine appointments offered for B.C. kids 12-17

“We saw during earlier waves that the number of cases in children reflects how many cases we’re seeing in adults. So, if we can all use all of the layers of protection it will help protect children, even those who are too young to be vaccinated,” Suave said.


@SchislerCole
cole.schisler@bpdigital.ca

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