Cases of COVID-19 among New Hampshire children have been rising sharply in recent weeks. Over the past few days, close to one quarter of all new infections in the state have been among children under the age of 18.

The growing proportion of COVID-19 cases among the young is not an unexpected trend, said Dr. Sharon Vuppula, an infectious-disease pediatric hospitalist in Nashua.

The vast majority of cases are occurring in the unvaccinated, Vuppula said. And as long as vaccines remain unavailable for those under 12 — and the vaccination rate for older teens remains low — young people will continue to make up a large slice of new infections.

“We also have in-person school back in session,” Vuppula said. “And our practices regarding mask wearing and hand hygiene, there is a burnout.”

New Hampshire, like the rest of the country, is also in the midst of a surge of a more transmissible variant of the virus.

Still, Vuppula urged parents to keep their kids following safe COVID practices, like mask wearing and social distancing.

This article is being shared by a partner in The Granite State News Collaborative. For more information visit collaborativenh.org.