MONROE COUNTY, Pa. — Millions of people have been vaccinated for COVID-19 across the country except for children 12 and younger who are not yet eligible for the shot.
As summer approaches, doctors at Lehigh Valley Hospital Network are giving advice to parents of younger children.
"For children under 12, I recommend continuing to mask when you're indoors, and if you're outdoors and in close proximity, right, besides other people, it's safest to continue to mask," said Dr. David Burnham.
If for any reason your child can't wear a mask, the CDC recommends outdoor activities with members of your household or attending a small, outdoor gathering with fully vaccinated family and friends.
Doctors say the risk of COVID-19 infection increases if unvaccinated children gather from different households.
"More and more, children become the people that are carrying it, transmitting it in our communities and becoming infected. While children might not get as sick as older people, as adults do, they can still get very ill," said Dr. Burnham.
Mansour Althrani from East Stroudsburg spent the day with his children at the park. Most of his children are not eligible for the vaccine.
"To keep them safe, we use the mask, but sometimes I keep them at the house with their mother or relatives," said Althrani.
Althrani says his oldest son will be eligible soon. The rest will play it safe until a vaccine is made available to them.
"We are going to get them into the program for the swimming pool and get a program for soccer for my older son. We will go to picnics and the park," said Althrani.
Dr. Burnham says if your child is unvaccinated and not feeling well, it's best to get them tested for COVID-19.
The hope is to have a vaccine available for children younger than 12 in the coming months as testing trials are underway.