As more parents are vaccinated, what activities are safe for kids?

Many parents are vaccinated, but their kids are not, and this is leading to lots of questions about what’s safe.

KDKA’s Kristine Sorensen talked with Dr. John Williams, head of pediatric infections diseases at UPMC Children’s Hospital.  Here’s part of their conversation.

Kristine Sorensen: Doctor, first of all, is it safe for children whose parents have been vaccinated to go to the house of another child whose parents have been vaccinated?

Dr. John Williams: I think for most people, the way they should think about that is what is the risk tolerance in their household? If they have low-risk people at home with otherwise healthy young children, then, if a vaccinated parent was to bring the virus home, the risk to that child is fairly low. On the other hand, if they have an immunocompromised person at home with a weak immune system or some other risk factor, I think then even when vaccinated, people should be a lot more careful about the risk of bringing the virus home.

Kristine Sorensen:  How can parents ask other parents, without sounding judgmental, if they got the vaccine because really they do want to know that for their own children’s safety?

Dr. John Williams:  I think asking another parent if their family is vaccinated for COVID is really no different than asking them if they have a car seat for my child. … This should be the same thing.  There isn’t any judgment. It’s a question of keeping our kids safe.  Kids are at a lower risk for severe disease from COVID but that risk isn’t zero.

Kristine Sorensen: Is there any way sleepovers can be safe?

Dr. John Williams: I think sleepovers really can’t be done at low risk or safely unless people are vaccinated.

Dr. Williams adds that kids 16 and older can have sleepovers if they’re vaccinated, and soon, kids ages 12 and older will be able to as well if they get vaccinated.  The Pfizer vaccine is expected to be approved for those kids as early as next week.