ALLENTOWN, Pa. - At Allentown's Trexler Park, parents and kids were enjoying the sunshine on Tuesday. But the pandemic has put a damper on outings.
This week, the American Academy of Pediatrics said the number of kids testing positive for COVID-19 nationwide has skyrocketed by 90% in a month.
The AAP says in just the last two weeks, 97,000 pediatric cases were reported, bringing the national total of children who have tested positive to just over 380,000.
That figure equates to roughly 9% of all known cases in the US.
While severe cases of COVID-19 in kids are rare, doctors say they carry a higher concentration of the virus and many are asymptomatic. Doctors say that's why it's important that parents take precautions.
"I would also make sure they're screening their friends to make sure that whoever they are around is not sick," said Dr. Nathan Hagstrom with Lehigh Valley Health Network.
Hagstrom says parents should talk to the parents of their kids' friends to make sure they are all on the same page with precautions, like frequent hand washing and masks for anyone over 2 years old.
At Trexler, parents we talked with say they are taking those precautions, but are mixed about the increase in cases.
"It's a virus, I'm pretty sure it's curable and without a vaccine as well," said parent Trisha Orr. "So no, I'm not too overly stressed about COVID-19."
But parent Nadine Coulter felt differently.
"I'm definitely concerned. I am a teacher as well," said Coulter. "I have a little one that's only two months and it's scary."
Doctors say here in the Lehigh Valley, the number of pediatric cases has been lower than the national average and cases are on the downturn.
But doctors say even so, because of the asymptomatic nature of pediatric cases, it's important to observe precautions to prevent spread like social distancing. Even with those we love.
"I know that grandparents are missing their grandchildren significantly," said Hagstrom. "I feel bad for them but until this is better controlled, we need to maintain that distance between the children and the grandparents."