Pediatricians caution parents with children attending Wisconsin State Fair

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WEST ALLIS, Wis. (CBS 58) -- The Wisconsin State Fair reopens Thursday, Aug. 5, after skipping a year due to COVID.

But the reopening comes just as COVID resurges across the state with the more infectious Delta variant.

The fair is taking precautions, but a key part of the crowd is at risk.

Kids under 12 aren't able to be vaccinated yet, and nearly 90 percent of all households that attend the fair are families with kids.

Pediatricians advise parents to keep their kids safe.

"Parents have come in with concerns about the younger kids who aren't able to be vaccinated," said Dr. Molly Cousin with Sixteenth Street Community Health Center.

She said she's getting a lot of questions from parents about the upcoming school year, but her advice is the same for the State Fair -- parents and their kids need to wear a mask.

"Even if you picked up the virus, you wouldn't be transmitting that to the younger kids," said Cousin.

Being outside is still better than being inside, but crowds at the fair are common and that presents a risk.

"All kids over the age of two should have a mask on, and you want to keep your mask on as much as possible, and when you're eating the fair goodies like the cream puffs, you want to be in an area that's relatively isolated with your family and away from other people," said Dr. Gregory DeMuri with UW Health.

He said kids can spread COVID to other people, and they're not immune from getting seriously sick.

"There are children that end up with severe symptoms and end up in the hospital or the intensive care unit, it's not zero risk, that's for sure," said DeMuri.

The State Fair wants people to make a choice they're comfortable with.

"We do encourage people who are planning on coming to the State Fair, or considering attending the State Fair, to make the decisions that feel best for them in terms of their health and safety," said Public Relations Manager Tess Kerksen.

Cousin said its okay to go, as along as parents weigh the risks.

"If it's something you want to do, you want to be masked up, everybody," said Cousin.

There will be a vaccine clinic each day on the fairgrounds.

People who get their shot will be able to get a free cream puff.

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