MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW) — News13 is partnering with Tidelands Health Thursday to answer your back-to-school COVID-19 questions.
Lucretia Carter, the pediatric medical director at Tidelands Health, joined News13 anchor Patsy Kelly on News13 Now Thursday morning to answer questions ahead of a phone bank later in the day.
“Everyone wants to make sure their child is protected and safe during the school year,” she said.
The doctors are hoping to calm some of the community’s anxieties.
Carter said if parents are concerned about COVID-19 and sending their child back to school, there are steps they can take to make sure their kids are as safe as possible. One thing is to make sure that if they have a child who can get the vaccine, that they do.
“The vaccine is very effective for children.” Carter said. “They really should get the vaccine because that is their best protection against the virus.”
The COVID vaccine is currently available to those 12 and older. Vaccination sites are listed here.
She also said masking is important in helping prevent the spread of the virus.
“If your child is sick, they should stay home,” Carter said. “Many symptoms do mimic the coronavirus symptoms we see- fever, sore throat, headache, and generalized muscle aches. If you have any of those things, you should see your doctor.”
Doctors are seeing increased numbers of COVID-19 cases among children.
“If your child has a known exposure, if there is someone in their class that was positive, you should seek care and be tested anywhere from three to five days from that exposure,” Carter said.
If a child does not have COVID-19, they could be sick with something else, so parents need to be aware.
“This is the beginning of the flu season.” Carter said.
She said many COVID-19 symptoms overlap those of colds or viruses.
Carter also reiterated that safety is important going into the school year.
“All those lessons we learned from last year about social distancing, washing our hands, and making sure we’re not spreading things we don’t need to spread,” she said. “We need to keep those in mind for this year. Keep teaching your children that they need to wash their hands and they need to keep that safe social distance. It is key in fighting COVID.”