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TCH emergency room packed with parents bringing healthy kids in for COVID test

TCH Doctors are urging parents not to bring their child to the ER if they have mild symptoms -- or no symptoms at all.

HOUSTON — Texas Children’s Hospital says its emergency room is packed, partly because parents are bringing healthy children in because they want them to get a COVID-19 test. 

Doctors say they're seeing children with no symptoms -- or mild symptoms -- in the ER and they don't need to be there.

The TCH staff already has its hands full with 50 children hospitalized with COVID, along with all the other young patients who have serious health problems.

RELATED: COVID-19 dashboards for Houston-area schools

With children back in the classroom at the height of COVID’s fourth wave, many parents are worried their unvaccinated children will get sick and don't want to take any chances. 

TCH reports testing has tripled since schools began over the last two weeks. They performed more than 2,000 tests yesterday alone.

"The question is: how many of them have symptoms their parents feel warrant a true visit to the emergency center or urgent care because of the symptoms? Or are they really coming just for a test?" said Dr. Brent Kaziny with Texas Children’s Hospital. 

He says one thing has been constant throughout the pandemic:  the vast majority of children with COVID-19 have mild symptoms and make a full recovery.

Dr. Kaziny said if your child has breathing difficulties that are ongoing and worsening, or other issues like high fever, you should bring them in. 

He gets that parents are worried, and want to know right away if their kid has the virus, but the emergency room isn't the place to get tested.