FAQ: Local doctor on what you should know to keep your child safe this school year

CHARLOTTE — Parents, teachers and students across our area are gearing up for the new school year, but many parents still have questions about what they should do to keep their child safe in the classroom amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Channel 9 spoke with infectious disease expert Dr. Amina Ahmed. She said she understand that parents may be worried about sending their child back to the classroom -- especially in school districts that are mask optional. Even if your child is wearing a mask and other students aren’t, she says it will still make a difference.

Below are her answers to some of the most frequently asked questions surrounding health and safety in schools:

Q: Are COVID-19 cases rising among children?

A: “In the last two weeks in the United States, children are making up about 20% of all the cases in the United States.”

Q: What age group is more at risk of contracting the delta variant in schools?

A: “Historically its been the 12 to 17 year-olds prior to vaccines that are more likely to get infected. They are more social. They behave like adults. We are not at this point seeing a particular age group that’s more impacted, but as you can imagine because 12 to 17 years-olds are vaccinated, even if they are infected, they may be less symptomatic.”

Q: Are kids going to be more sick from the delta variant?

“There’s nothing here right now to alarm me -- saying, ‘wow kids are going to be sicker from this.’ Having said that, we are only a couple of weeks into this.’”

Channel 9 also asked Ahmed if parents should be wiping down their child’s school supplies when they get home. She said that’s not necessary and it’s more important that your child washes their hands when they get home.

(WATCH: CMS mom shares concerns ahead of return to classrooms)