Kids and COVID-19: Golisano Children's answers your questions.

Posted at 9:04 PM, Jul 22, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-23 10:25:21-04

FORT MYERS, FLA — Wednesday, Golisano Children's Hospital held a forum that a lot of parents, like Shadreka McIntosh, had been waiting for when it comes to the topic of your kids and COVID-19.

"We're hearing a lot of things but most of it pertains to adults so there's so many unanswered questions about kids," said McIntosh.

Right off the, leaders with the hospital answered a frequently debated question: Can my kid get COVID-19?

"Children can get COVID-19, just like adults. But less so. And kids tend to do much better," said Pediatric Hematology Oncologist, Emad Salman.

In fact, doctors said so far the younger the kids are, the better they've been able to bounce back from the virus.

Next up, doctors reminded parents that the hospital is clean ad it is still a safe place to bring your child for care, even if they don't have COVID-19.

"We saw a documented 44 percent increase in how sick our patients were year over year, because of the large number of parents who waited to bring their child in for the care they needed," said Chief Administrative Officer, Armando Llechu.

And finally, they tackled the question that's been so on many minds:

Is it safe for kids to head back to the classroom?

"If I believed that my child would have the discipline necessary to wear their mask properly at all times, wash their hands appropriately and practice social distancing, I would send my children back to school," said Llechu.

McIntosh is a mom of three and says her oldest two kids understand these guidelines best.

"My middle schooler, I think she does have a handle on understanding it and she really stays on her little brother a lot about washing his hands, not putting his hands in his mouth," she said.

But for now, she's deciding to keep her kids at home for the upcoming school year.

"Fortunately I'm able to make the decision to do virtual for my kids right now," she said.

And she adds that when it comes to making that decision, parents should do what they feel is best for their family.

"I would just encourage parents to get as informed as you can and don't be too hard on yourself because it's not an easy decision whether you choose to send your child back to school or you choose to wait it out," said McIntosh.

Click here to watch the full, hour-long forum.