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How concerned should parents be about the Delta Variant?

Families, children and summer camp staff are doing what they can to stay healthy and have fun.

NEW ORLEANS — With the Delta variant officially here, officials say now is the time to get vaccinated. 

The variant is concerning since it's believed to spread easier and have serious impacts to patients. However, what about those 12-and-under who can't get vaccinated?

Brother Martin's summer camp is in full-swing, and 9-year-old Carter Baehr, is loving it.

"The reason why I like to come here is I like to play and meet new friends and have a good time," he said.

Which, of course, is the goal. However, these days the campers' health is especially a priority.

"Anytime you're dealing with someone else's children there's always a concern with how you're going to keep them safe," said Donnie Midkiff, the Crusader Camp Director. "We are aware of the other variants that come into play and we are doing what we can to eliminate any potential risk to the campers." 

Hand sanitizing stations, encouraging masks and keeping kids in smaller pods are some of the safety measures being taken. Parents like Allison Braxton-Baehr, say it's appreciated.

"When I drop him off, he has his mask. He doesn't ask for it, he grabs it," she said. "He runs in and he's excited to go to Brother Martin summer camp. He feels safe, he tells me he feels safe and that's an important peace of mind for a mom."

The camp caters to those 6 through 12-years-old, part of a key group health professionals say could be hit hard by the Delta variant.

"Because this virus is so easily transmitted, we can very well see a surge," Dr. Mark Kline said. "It's going to be among groups with low vaccination rates and children under 12, just as a consequence of the fact they not had access to the vaccine yet, will be one of those groups."

Dr. Kline is the Physician in Chief at Children's Hospital says now more than ever, it's critical parents be proactive.

"I think we'll see more kids getting sick because it's more contagious," he said. "But I don't think there's more of a reason to think it'll be more severe for children than in adults."

Still, Braxton-Baehr and her family are doing what they can to minimize risk of exposure daily.

"The what if is there, but we take all the necessary precautions with a mask," she said.

"Wear a mask," Carter said. "That's the easiest thing to do."

That way they can keep themselves and others safe until a vaccine is available for all.

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