By CBS 2 Chicago Staff

CHICAGO (CBS) — As the coronavirus surge continues in the area, doctors said one of the biggest rise in cases is among preschoolers.

That’s partly because those under five can’t get vaccinated. Doctors at Advocate Aurora Health said the number of COVID cases for children four and under have risen threefold in a week.

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“We are definitely seeing more cases of children requiring admission to ICU for COVID issues. Some of these children are previously healthy and without risk factors,” said Dr. Nekaiya Jacobs, Pediatric Critical Care, Advocate Children’s Hospital.

But doctors said COVID affects more than just kids’ bodies. Even those who don’t get sick are still dealing with mental issues, including isolation, depression and a loss of stability.

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“Children really do their best when there’s predictability in the world. They’ve lost loved ones but they’ve also lost out on experiences,” said Dr. Laura Yahr Nelson, Pediatric Psychiatry, Aurora Children’s Health.

Doctors said the best thing parents can do is try to connect with kids by asking questions, playing games and discussing feelings. To make sure you’re there for them. and try to cut them a little slack if they act up – being in a pandemic is hard for everyone. They’re also encouraging parents to make an appointment to get children vaccinated.

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CBS 2 Chicago Staff