Parents of Peachtree Park Pediatrics,
We continually strive to provide you with the most up to date information on the COVID-19 pandemic. Read on for the latest vaccine updates, the AAP’s recommendations regarding summer camps, the impact of distance learning on both children and parents, and more.
- Reuters reports that “Pfizer began testing its COVID-19 vaccine in children under 12, with hopes of expanding vaccination to that age range by early 2022.”
- President Biden recently said he was setting a new goal of administering 200 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine in the United States in his first 100 days in office.
- CNN reports on a recently study which showed “the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are effective in pregnant and lactating women, who can pass protective antibodies to newborns. The vaccine-induced antibody levels were equivalent in pregnant and lactating women, compared to non-pregnant women. The antibody levels were ‘strikingly higher’ than those resulting from coronavirus infection during pregnancy.”
Updated AAP Guidance on Summer Camps
The AAP has updated its recommendations about attending camps safely this Summer.
- Camp directors should be vigilant in implementing and enforcing state, local, and CDC guidance.
- The vast majority of children, even those with medical conditions, are able to safely and effectively wear face masks with adequate practice and support as well as modeling from adults.
- Camps should encourage children to be physically active outdoors if possible, but must be aware that for children, it may be a challenge to maintain recommended physical distancing without very frequent reminders.
- Recognizing that the camp setting may not be devoid of cases of COVID-19, camp operators should work with local public health authorities to appropriately manage implementation of recommended exclusion, quarantine, and contact tracing processes at camp.
- Testing is not effective when used as the sole prevention method but must be layered with other strategies including physical distancing and masking. It is important to recognize that viral testing only shows whether a person is infected at that specific moment in time. A camper who is negative for COVID-19 on the first day of camp may not remain negative throughout the camp session.
- Blood testing for antibodies to COVID-19 should not be used for individual decision making and has no place in considerations for entrance to or exclusion from camp.
Many Children Struggle With Weight During the Pandemic
A recent article in HealthDay discusses the increasing problems with weight gain in kids during the pandemic.
For many, decreased activity level and changing eating habits have resulted in weight gain moving children into the Overweight and Obese category. Other children are struggling with eating disorders and losing dangerous amounts of weight.
“The experts offered several tips for increasing healthy eating at home.
Regular mealtimes are important. They can both reduce too frequent snacking and also ensure everyone is eating meals.
Keep healthy foods consistently available. One of the real decision points for healthy eating is what you bring into your house. It’s very difficult to say ‘don’t eat it or don’t drink it’ about foods already in your home. You want to have healthy foods that you enjoy and that taste good. You can have some treats but moderating how much you bring home is important.”
Impact of Distance Learning on Parents and Children
A recent CDC report showed that “parents and children who attended school in person in the fall reported significantly less stress and anxiety than those who learned either online or in a combined setting.”
“Schools are central to supporting children and families, providing not only education, but also opportunities to engage in activities to support healthy development and access to social, mental health, and physical health services, which can buffer stress and mitigate negative outcomes,” the study authors wrote.
Getting COVID After Vaccination is Rare
The NY Times recently reported on studies that indicate the risk of contracting COVID-19 after being fully vaccinated is very low.
In a Texas study, only 2 infections were reported in over 8000 vaccine recipients while in San Diego only 7 became infected out of nearly 15,000 vaccinees.
In general, full protection is achieved two weeks after completing the full vaccine schedule (1 dose for the J & J vaccine, 2 for Pfizer and Moderna).
Children Show Strongest Immune Response to COVID-19
UPI reports on a study showing that “children age 10 and younger develop a more robust immune response to the coronavirus than other age group.”
After infection, children had antibody levels more than twice as high as teens and young adults.
“Antibody levels declined with age, with study participants age 80 and older having the lowest. The findings help explain why most children experience mild cases of COVID-19, often with no symptoms, while older adults get more seriously ill after infection.”
More Evidence that COVID-19 Doesn’t Spread in Schools With Proper Safeguards
HealthDay reports on another study showing that “COVID-19 transmission is rare in schools that follow precautions such as mandatory masks, social distancing and frequent hand-washing.”
Avoiding Injuries to Children from Home Gyms
The AAP shared guidance on preventing your kids from becoming injured by your home gym equipment.
- Young children need to be supervised at all times around home gym equipment. Exercise machines should not be set up in areas where children regularly play, such as the basement.
- Treadmills, stationary bikes, and other workout machines should be unplugged when not in use.
- Many exercise machines require a safety key in order to operate. When not in use, remove the safety key from the machine and keep it in a separate, secure location.
- Consider installing a lock on the workout room itself, if possible.
Masks May Reduce Allergy Symptoms
HealthDay reports that wearing a mask to reduce exposure to COVID-19 may also help with allergy symptoms.
“Any type of face covering can significantly reduce the pollens and allergens that may enter your nose and mouth.”
We encourage everyone to continue to use good hand hygiene and practice social distancing as much as possible. Please contact our office with any further questions or concerns.
Peachtree Park Pediatrics
For reliable, up-to-date information about COVID-19, visit:
Peachtree Park Pediatrics strives to deliver up-to-date primary care to our infant, child, and young adult patients in a welcoming and family-friendly environment. The practice has deep roots in the Atlanta community, and it is our continued honor to be entrusted with the health care of our next generation.