Kids and masks: LA County sees spike of COVID-19 cases in children

At Memorial Park in La Canada Flintridge, 4-year-old Sasha Benichou and his parents are all wearing masks.

“Since the beginning of the pandemic we’ve been really explaining to him how it’s important to be careful when we’re in groups so yeah, he follows the rules.” said Sasha’s Dad, Benjamin Benichou.

But, according to pediatrician Dr. Richard Kang, many parents aren’t regularly masking their children.

“You’ll see the parents usually wearing masks and that’s probably a concern that’s risen because we’ve seen the number of cases among younger people including children go up,” Kang said. 

In fact, Kang said during this second spike of COVID-19 in LA County, cases among children have jumped more than 50 percent.

“The alarming thing is, it’s not just the the number of cases but it’s the number of cases were children are seriously ill and requiring intensive care units.” Said Kang

At Memorial Park, Oxana Kernan and her 10-year-old son Joseph put their masks on for our interview: 

“There is a lot of questions about it...If we’re outside, do we really get cold or flu outside,” said Kernan. 

“It’s not that comfortable but I feel like I’m more safe with it.” said Joseph.

And 4-year-old Sasha seems to agree, “Why is it important to wear a mask... Because we don’t want to get the virus,” she said.  

RELATED: Stay up to date on all coronavirus-related information

The CDC recommends children over the age of two wear masks. Dr. Kang  says the biggest increase in cases has been seen in teens and preteens who tend to hang out in groups without masks.

If your child is scared of wearing masks:

-wear masks and look in the mirror and talk about it. 

-put mask on child's favorite stuffed animal

-decorate colorful personalized mask for child 

-show pictures of other children wearing masks

-draw a mask on favorite book character

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