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The delta variant

What parents with young children should know about the Delta variant

For vaccinated parents with unvaccinated young children, it might be difficult to understand, process, or navigate what the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's latest mask guidelines and potentially "misleading" internal report shared by The Washington Post now mean for their families. Well, acording to some, the good news is parents shouldn't feel like they have to panic just yet.

While the Delta variant is spreading nationwide, the risk of serious disease in children still remains "really low," notes Emily Oster, a professor at Brown University. Take the U.K., for example, which may have just surpassed its Delta-driven infection peak — even with the more-infectious variant, case rates remained relatively low in children under 12.

"Thankfully, for children, the risk of severe COVID remains still very small," agreed Dr. Marcella Nuñez-Smith of the White House COVID-19 Health Equity Task Force. Of course, Americans should try to prevent any and all infections, she added, but parents should be assured that nothing has changed "so drastically" in terms of a child's COVID-19 risk. Until kids can be vaccinated, the updated, Delta-driven mask guidelines can be used to inform parents' risk evaluation when indoors with individuals whose vaccination status is unknown.

As an added precaution or measure, Oster suggests testing as a useful tool should you be concerned about your unvaccinated child. But again, since the risk to children remains "extremely low," simply vaccinating yourself is a great step to take in protecting your kids.