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As COVID-19 cases rise again, health care professional encourages parents to watch for infection signs in kids

Pediatric nurse practitioner says parents should continue to have children wash hands and get a vaccination if they're 12 or older.

PERRYSBURG, Ohio — As parents shuttle kids to camps and make plans for the upcoming in-person school year, some families are expressing concern over what the best health practices are for their children, as COVID-19 cases start to increase.

"Prior to a couple days ago, we haven't had a positive rapid COVID-19 test since April," said Mollie Smith, a pediatric nurse practitioner with ProMedica.

Smith said that while they can't determine exactly which variant they're dealing with, health care practitioners are starting to see more COVID-19 cases again.

She recommends parents keep an eye out for specific symptoms to help determine whether their child has COVID-19 and encourages regular preventative practices.

"(Watch for) trouble breathing (and) fever, if you've had a known association with a positive COVID-19 infection," Smith said.

Of course, your kids can try to protect themselves by washing their hands, staying away from friends that are sick and not sharing things like cups and water bottles.

"Obviously if your kid's old enough to be vaccinated, I would recommend that vaccination because then you can mitigate at least that risk," Smith said.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that all children over 2 wear masks when they return to school this year, regardless if they are vaccinated.