BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — As the holiday season kicks off, Dignity Health Memorial Hospital has begun to see an increase in pediatric patients needing high-level care for respiratory illnesses. The hospital’s emergency pavilion for children sees more than 150 children per day, the hospital said in a news release.

Memorial Hospital has treated children for respiratory illnesses such as syncytial virus, or RSV, influenza, human metapneumovirus and Covid-19. The hospital says the community can help support emergency departments and hospitals by knowing when to seek emergency care for children.

The hospital’s medical director of emergency services, Dr. Les Burson, says some signs parents should look for include difficulty breathing, high fever, shortness of breath, or a bluish tint to the skin.

“RSV is a very common virus that usually leads to mild cold-like symptoms, with most
people recovering at home in a week or two, but can be more serious in infants and
young children who might need treatment in the hospital,” Burson said in the release.

Burson added that wearing a mask, getting a flu and Covid vaccine, washing hands and avoiding large crowds remained the best defense against coming down with an illness.