What parents should know about the Delta variant and their kids

Local News

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — As the Delta Variant continues to surge in other parts of the country, concern for those who are not vaccinated is on the rise. That includes kids under the age of 12 who are currently not eligible for the Covid vaccines.

While it doesn’t seem to be any more severe than the original COVID-19 virus, scientists have determined the Delta variant spreads more easily. Kids are less likely to get seriously ill, but doctor Michael Elliot says there are plenty of cases of pediatric COVID-19 that have turned serious.

“It would be horrible for people to think their children are not at risk, that is absolutely not true their children are at risk,” said Dr. Michael Elliot.

Elliot, who is Avera’s Chief Medical Officer at says they are starting to find long haul complications in 10 to 20 percent of people who have had Covid, including mild cases. So a child could develop complications later on. He says he is telling parents to continue to take precautions such as social distancing, hand washing and masks

“What I’m telling parents right now is they’ve got to think of this as a layered strategy, some people are going to be very risk-averse and they are going to want to do all the layers, some are going to say I’m going to take some cautions but not all of them, but still feel the need to live, so vaccines when they become available to kids younger than 12, I highly recommend they get their kids vaccinated that is a wonderful strategy,” said Elliot.

Elliot says more testing for the virus is underway because of the surge in Delta Variant cases.
He says symptoms in children are no different than they are for adults. The difference is kids can’t always accurately communicate their symptoms, so it is still up to parents to be aware that what looks like a sore throat or a cold, could be Covid.

Dozens of families were out enjoying the nice day at Sertoma Park in Sioux Falls. Of the half dozen parents I spoke with, not a single one was overly concerned with the spread of the Delta variant.

In fact for Madison Dotterweitch- who is visiting from Faribault, Minnesota, Covid fatigue has set in.

“I really don’t care, we never got Covid and we went a lot of places the whole time so,” Dotterweitch said.

Tom Hanson: Do You feel pretty safe for your kids then?

Dotterweitch: Yeah, we’re not worried.

Madison says they took precautions when the pandemic first hit but now they just want to live life normally.

“My cautionary statement is the virus doesn’t care, it doesn’t care if we are tired, it doesn’t care if we are over it. it is going to spread through natural selection, it is going to find vulnerable populations, vulnerable communities and it is going to continue to spread,” Dotterweitch said.

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