Children battling COVID-19 in SWFL hospitals

Published: August 3, 2021 9:20 PM EDT
Updated: August 4, 2021 5:56 AM EDT

COVID-19 cases in Florida continuing to skyrocket means more children are at risk of contracting the virus. Currently, there are eight children at Golisano Children’s Hospital battling COVID-19.

One mother says she has been through the experience of a child ending up in the hospital because of COVID-19. Her son was one of the youngest patients to contract COVID-19 last year. Now, she has a message for parents going through a similar situation.

Ashley Flores wants to remind other parents that they are responsible for the health of their children. She hopes that parents take all precautions just for that protection.

Pediatricians hope so, too, as they see more COVID-19 cases in children.

Baby Aubrey’s first few weeks of life were not all snuggles and smiles. “To me, there are just too many things unknown to potentially go back to that time again,” said Ashley.

Aubrey’s mother, Ashley, says that time, when her newborn was in the hospital with COVID-19, is not a time she’d willingly to go back to. “I’m too scared,” said Aubrey.

And, while, you can see that the now one-and-a-half-year-old is doing well. The spike in cases has the family decided to keep their other children at home this school year.

“I don’t know how the parents are of the other kids she would be around within school how they are handling themselves with the pandemic are they wearing masks, are they vaccinated,” said Ashley.

Case numbers from the state show that the median age of those contracting COVID-19 is lowering significantly and that the delta variant is impacting children under 12 who cannot get the vaccine.

Dr. Dawn Bertram is a pediatric doctor. “We’ve honestly been seeing an uptick in cases,” said Bertram. “We have gotten several messages from parents saying their kids are positive.”

Bertram says it’s up to the adults to take care of the kids. “A place we can start is the adults being vaccinated,” she said. This pediatrician also recommends that parents carefully consider whether or not to have their children wear masks at school.

“I think it is the responsibility of those adults to protect themselves so they won’t pass it on to the kids since they can’t get vaccinated,” said Ashley.

At NCH in Collier County, they are not currently treating any children with COVID-19.