PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) — On this slightly warmer fall day than usual, parents and their children gathered in Philadelphia’s Fitler Square.
The relaxed atmosphere is only countered by the reality of a pandemic that is still lurking.
“Well, I think a lot of it still comes down to the unknown of how it can affect children of a certain age. I have a one-year-old and I take as many precautions as I can,” said parent Joshua Smith.
Last week, the US reported more than 173,000 cases of COVID-19 in children.
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It was the first week with fewer than 200,000 new cases since mid-August, according to a new report from the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children’s Hospital Association.
Parents attribute this success in part to preventive care.
“No recent fears, so we’re pretty confident. Temperatures are checked every morning, they’re in small groups and we definitely feel good about them. It doesn’t mean we’re going to be blasé about it. take your own precautions,” said parent Nick Aster.
Some also credit vaccines, especially enforcement.
“You don’t want your child to get sick. You don’t want your child to make someone else sick,” said parent Michael Aikens.
The Philadelphia school district now requires testing twice a week for those employees who are not fully vaccinated.
Unvaccinated teachers and staff who test positive are also not allowed to use special time off allocated to those who contract the virus.
Despite the drop in cases, children were still responsible for a quarter of reported weekly COVID-19 cases, according to the AAP and CHA report.
Still, some parents are convinced that as long as you follow the science, there may be more play days ahead.
“I express all my concerns to my doctor, and she pretty much suppresses them all,” said parent Kelly Catbagan.
While medical experts say severe COVID illness in children is uncommon, more research is still needed on the long-term impact of the pandemic on children.
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