What is safe for kids, teens who have not been vaccinated

HOUSTON – Maricela Aguilera is a mom of two teens on the northside of Houston. She said she is living in limbo with the adults in her house vaccinated but the kids are not.

“We try to stay home, for the most part, we really haven’t had many family gatherings or things like that,” Aguilera said.

Dr. Tamisha Jones with Legacy Community Health said for now it’s best that kids continue wearing masks and staying a safe distance from other families. However, she said, we are seeing phases of normal life return.

Outdoor sports are safe to participate in, according to Jones. She said less contact has less risk and ultimately it’s up to your family how much risk you want to take on.

Hugs are safe too. She recommends no talking while hugging to eliminate expelling respiratory particles into the air.

According to the CDC, here are the things you can safely do once you’re vaccinated:

  • You can gather indoors with fully vaccinated people without wearing a mask or staying 6 feet apart.
  • You can gather indoors with unvaccinated people of any age from one other household (for example, visiting with relatives who all live together) without masks or staying 6 feet apart unless any of those people or anyone they live with has an increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19.
  • If you travel in the United States, you do not need to get tested before or after travel or self-quarantine after travel.
  • You need to pay close attention to the situation at your international destination before traveling outside the United States.
  • You do NOT need to get tested before leaving the United States unless your destination requires it.
  • You still need to show a negative test result or documentation of recovery from COVID-19 before boarding a flight to the United States.
  • You should still get tested 3-5 days after international travel.
  • You do NOT need to self-quarantine after arriving in the United States.
  • If you’ve been around someone who has COVID-19, you do not need to stay away from others or get tested unless you have symptoms.
  • However, if you live in a group setting (like a correctional or detention facility or group home) and are around someone who has COVID-19, you should still stay away from others for 14 days and get tested, even if you don’t have symptoms.

Teens and kids may also soon be eligible for a vaccine.

Legacy Community Health has an initiative called TeenWell that can teach them more about all things related to their age group.

Maricela said her teens enjoy being part of the program because it’s non-judgmental and more comfortable than a regular wellness exam.

“It’s helping my teens talking to their doctors and they put a really big emphasis on following their treatment plan,” she said, “They can confide in their doctor, trust in the healthcare system.”