How can we prevent the spread of SARS-CoV-2 in children?

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Children are being hospitalized with COVID-19 in record numbers across the United States.

As most children are not old enough to get vaccinated, hospitalizations could further increase as schools reopen.

Doctors and epidemiologists are thus calling for the use of safety precautions, such as masks and ventilation, during class.

All data and statistics are based on publicly available data at the time of publication. Some information may be out of date. Visit our coronavirus hub and follow our live updates page for the most recent information on the COVID-19 pandemic.

The rise in cases of COVID-19 among children in the U.S. is primarily linked to the Delta variant. Cases are rising especially quickly in communities with low rates of COVID-19 vaccinations.

Although the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)Trusted Source recommend universal indoor masking and physical distancing in schools, mask-wearing is optional in North Dakota and Ohio.

Rapidly increasing infection rates among children and teachers have forced many schools in the U.S. to halt in-person learning and turn to hybrid models of education.

This comes despite 175 pediatric disease experts agreeing earlier this year that elementary schools could open full-time for in-person instruction.

Although children generally have milder COVID-19 symptomsTrusted Source than adults, the fact that few studies have investigated how the disease affects children means that many questions remain unanswered.

For example, why are so many children being hospitalized with COVID-19? Which children are most at risk? And what can parents and authorities do so that children can return to school safely?

To answer these questions and more, Medical News Today spoke with seven doctors and researchers who specialize in pediatrics and infectious diseases and have worked directly with children with COVID-19.

Stay informed with live updates on the current COVID-19 outbreak and visit our coronavirus hub for more advice on prevention and treatment.

Why are COVID-19 hospitalizations among children increasing? Delta variant of COVID-19 is more than two timesTrusted Source as contagious as previous variants.

Alongside school reopenings, this may partially explain the increase in pediatric hospitalizations due to COVID-19.

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