This article was updated Aug. 3.

For a brief moment, it felt like we parents had made it. School was wrapping up. People, including our kids 12 and older, were getting vaccinated. Mask mandates were easing.

But now we’re facing the delta variant — a highly contagious strain of the coronavirus. States with large outbreaks are seeing rising case numbers among children as well as adults. As it reaches into our communities, how does this strain affect children, and how can we help them safely navigate their days?

We spoke with infectious-disease specialists about how to handle this widespread variant. Here are their answers to our questions.

What to know

  • How dangerous is the delta variant for children?
  • How can I protect my tweens or teens, if they are vaccinated or if they aren’t?
  • Should I keep my unvaccinated children away from grandparents or other older people?
  • Should I keep my kids out of stores and other indoor places?
  • How likely is it that as a vaccinated parent, I could pass along the delta variant to my child?
  • What about the youngest babies and toddlers who might be heading back to daycare soon? How do we protect them?