Pediatrician sees spike in sick kids, offers tips for parents

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) – It was a busy day at Tanque Verde Pediatrics as COVID-19 cases spiked.

“With the start of a school district now back in school, our patient count has gone through the roof,” said Dr. Sandra Herron.

She said that since the school started, the number of sick visits has increased by 30%.

She said half of the kids she tests come in with known exposure but no symptoms, and the others show symptoms.

“So their parents come in, trying to be responsible and make sure their child doesn’t have COVID for the knowledge of their own family, and to help the community and make sure they don’t send their kids back out with COVID in the environment,” she explained.

dr. Herron said the best way to protect your children from exposure is to get vaccinated.

“They are safe and effective. So the most important thing you can do is vaccinate yourself and every child in your household who is 12 years or older,” she said.

She encourages wearing a mask, even if it is not required.

“By wearing a mask at school and by reducing the spread of other viruses and COVID. It can really make an impact, not just in your own family, but in our community, for our health professionals in our state,” she said.

She said contracting COVID-19 will be an inconvenience for most.

“They will be isolated for 10 to 14 days, they will be out of school for 10 to 14 days, their classrooms will be closed for 10 to 14 days,” said Dr. Herron.

She said the situation is serious – the youngest she has seen a patient enter with COVID-19 is days old.

“For the very first time in Tucson, we are seeing pediatric patients intubated with COVID,” Herron said.

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