Maryland pediatrician advises on safer activities for vaccinated children

This holiday season, parents are wondering about the protection of their children vaccinated against COVID: is it safe to be with loved ones? How can we reduce our risk?

This holiday season, a local pediatrician is strewn with questions from parents about protecting their children vaccinated against COVID: is it safe to be with loved ones? How can we reduce our risk?

“Every decision you make as a parent really weighs these risks and rewards. So, activities indoors without masks will be your highest risk, ”said Dr. Christina M. Brown, pediatrician at Kaiser Permanente in White Marsh, Maryland.

Brown said going to concerts or outdoor parades is a bit riskier if you and your kids are closer to other people.

“But still, an outdoor gig will be less risky than an indoor gig,” she said.

Higher risk activities include going to indoor restaurants or participating in contact sports. Longer periods with people outside the home can also increase the risk.

Dr Brown, pictured with daughter Allie, 5, who just got the COVID-19 vaccine, and son Derek, 3. (Photo Christina Brown)

“So, for example, sleepovers will be one of your riskiest activities for kids. If you have masks and you spend time together, as well as multiple meals together, those will be riskier, ”she said.

Some activities considered medium risk include decorating cookies, making gingerbread houses or other crafts, or shopping indoors while wearing a mask.

Brown’s ideas on how families can safely reunite and celebrate include visiting outdoor light shows, visiting an outdoor Christmas tree farm, spending time outside around a campfire or to take a walk.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention wants all eligible people to be vaccinated against COVID-19 (starting at age five) and traditional flu (starting at six months).

The CDC has not approved children under the age of 16 for COVID-19 booster shots after their initial vaccination. People aged 5 to 15 years may be given a series of two doses with a three week break between injections. They are considered fully immune two weeks after their second dose.

Although the vaccine is very effective in preventing COVID-19 and reducing the risk of serious illness and death, there are still revolutionary cases where sick or asymptomatic people can transmit the virus to others without knowing it.

“So we always want to make sure that you weigh those risks and rewards in every situation. Wearing your mask when you can, social distancing, hand washing, and also testing are extremely important. Brown said.

Getting tested is vital for anyone showing signs or symptoms, even if they have been vaccinated.

“You have to make sure you don’t have coronavirus,” Brown said. “At Kaiser Permanente, we have drive-thru tests as well as home test kits that you can perform. So everyone should talk to their doctor if they have any questions about this. This is what we are here for.

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