CHICAGO (WLS) -- At Lurie Children's Hospital, like other pediatric hospitals in the Chicago area, the ER has been very busy with rising COVID cases and other common pediatric viruses at this time of year.
"Throughout Chicago and in many other places, are a bit overwhelmed right now," said Dr. Nina Alfieri, who works at the hospital's Uptown clinic.
Alfieri urges parents to check with their child's pediatrician first, before going to an emergency room, for what appear to be virus-like symptoms.
"We are getting a lot of sick calls right now with kids playing and social interaction, and with viruses coming back," she said.
"Now even if they get a cold they are thinking it's COVID and they are getting panicked," said Tahniyath Shakir, mother.
A group of suburban parents told us they have heard other families' concerns about recent illnesses. They brought their sons for back to school check-ups and were glad to schedule their 12-year-old's COVID vaccination. He got his flu shot today.
"I think now is a good time to go to school, but still because of the COVID we are concerned. But now I am happy he is getting vaccinated," Shakir said.
Alfieri reminded parents that the safety protocols for COVID will prevent the spread of other viruses, which is especially important to remember going into flu season. And her message to everyone was to stay home or keep your kids at home if there are any symptoms of a virus.