Reminding teens they're not immune from COVID-19 risks

As the number of COVID-19 cases reported among teens continues to climb, this age group isn't immune from getting the virus. So what can be done to help stop the spread?

Dr. Skyler Kalady with Cleveland Clinic Children's says, for starters, remind them that they're not invincible. Anyone can get this virus and while most will be fine, some young people could be at risk, too.  

"Many children are generally healthy, which is great, but others are not. We do have an obesity epidemic in adolescence and many that have kidney disease, hypertension, asthma - those chronic illnesses. So even looking at themselves, they can reflect and say, you know, I actually do have a little bit of a higher risk," Dr. Kalady said. 

The CDC offers some easy ways for kids to stay safe. 

Stay outside as much as possible. Keep the group gatherings small and stay six feet away from each other. Tell your teens to stretch out their arms and they shouldn't be about to touch the outstretched arm of their friend. 

Good hygiene is just as important. Teens should routinely wash their hands and properly cover their nose and mouth when they cough or sneeze. Dr. Kalady says those are critical. She knows they can be uncomfortable but just like anything else, they'll eventually get used to them.

"There is very clear evidence to support that people wearing masks will be much less likely to transmit and acquire COVID-19. So it's really critical both to protect the child and those around them  if they were asymptomatic and at risk for passing, to wear a mask."

Dr. Kalady says parents shouldn't just tell their kids what to do, but show them as well because setting a good example can make a big difference.