In the last week, more than 120,000 kids have tested positive for COVID-19, and according to the American Academy of Pediatrics, that number has been steadily rising for more than a month.
From August 5-12,18% of all COVID-19 cases in the U.S. were reported in kids, a marked increase from the 14.4% they have accounted for since the start of the pandemic.
“Anything that you come to their bedside with can be a source of stress, whether it’s something completely benign or not,” said Pam Baldridge, a nurse in the pediatric ICU at Children’s Health in Dallas. “They have that social fear, but they also have a fear of pain or illness in general. We have multiple layers of that in different stages of development.”
At Children’s Health, there has been an increase in child admissions to the hospital’s statewide system since June.
“This is something we would typically expect in the winter months, so it’s very odd for it to be right now,” said Tammy Webb, chief nursing officer at Children’s Hospital. “We are definitely in a surge process.”
It is a trend that matches what the worst of COVID-19 has shown us nationwide. In the week of July 31, through August 6, the CDC says an average of 216 kids were admitted to the hospital each day, only one admission off from the peak of 217 in January.
“We had a conversation with our sister hospitals, one in Austin and one in Miami, and they’re just hammered. Absolutely hammered,” said Dr. Reginald Washington, chief medical officer at Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children in Denver.
Through the hospital's predictions, they expect the number of child admissions to the hospital to peak in mid-to-late September as more schools get under way and that two to three week lag time in numbers is accounted for.
Scientists say there is not enough data to prove whether delta is more dangerous in kids, but the numbers prove what we already know: this variant spreads quickly.
“I would say that we are concerned about these increasing volumes,” said Webb.