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How to Keep Unvaccinated Children Safe

July 23, 2021  ||  By Matt Albasi

As the pandemic of the unvaccinated surges across the country, many parents are asking, “how can I keep my unvaccinated children safe?” While President Biden says FDA approval for the use of COVID-19 vaccines on children under the age of 12 will happen “soon,” we have some insights and tips for how to keep them safe for now.

COVID and Spreadable Illnesses Present Risks

First, let’s talk about COVID and kids. Children who contract COVID don’t usually become as sick as adults. Still, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children’s Hospital Association estimate that children represent about 13% of all COVID-19 cases. Severe conditions rarely develop, but children can become severely ill too.

We also know, aside from COVID, as governments roll back pandemic restrictions, children are getting more common infectious illnesses like RSV and strep. In fact, right now, children under the age of 10 are the most likely group to have a fever. 

Graph showing children under 10 as more sick than any other age group

The phenomenon hits home for a lot of our own employees. A quick poll of Kinsa employees revealed more than 50% of parents with kids had sick children recently. 13% even said the whole family has come down with summer colds. Luckily, we’ve had no cases of COVID-19 in any of the youngsters, but it still has our parents asking, “how can I keep my kids safe?”

How to Keep Children Safe

Kinsa’s epidemiology and clinical health teams offer guidance for children 2-12 and babies under 2 years old: 

“Kiddos under 12 years old should continue wearing masks during most indoor activities. It’s most important in groups where you don’t know everyone (think: school, grocery store, indoor camps, church, etc.). 

Babies under 2 years old, who generally shouldn’t wear masks, should continue following safety protocols you’ve had in place during this pandemic. Avoid indoor gatherings as much as possible and ask that unvaccinated visitors continue wearing a mask around your child.

For moms who were vaccinated during pregnancy or were vaccinated and are breastfeeding, there’s been some research showing the antibodies are protecting your new little sweetie - hopefully, that helps ease your anxiety a bit!

If you’re having another family over where everyone over 12 is fully vaccinated, your younger babies are relatively safe, and your kids can skip the masks (assuming you’re comfortable with that, of course). Keep your indoor pod small, and everyone should remain healthy.”

If you have any other questions you’d like to see our team answer, you can submit them here! 

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