DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — COVID-19 cases among children are extremely high, and increasing. On average, about 260 children in the U.S. are being admitted to the hospital with COVID-19 each day. Since Christmas Day, hospitalizations at Dayton Children’s have increased significantly.

“States like New York saw roughly a 400 percent or a four-fold increase, we’ve actually seen that in the last two days. About two or three days ago we had between four to five patients in the hospital with COVID, today we have 17,” said Dr. Adam Mezoff, chief medical officer at Dayton Children’s.

The majority of COVID patients at Dayton Children’s are younger than 5 years old and ineligible for vaccination.

“To this day, we have not admitted a patient into Dayton Children’s who has been vaccinated,” Dr. Mezoff said.

According to federal data, nearly 2,000 children are currently hospitalized with the virus. The rate is rising nearly twice as fast as adult hospitalizations.

“The best way to protect your children is to vaccinate them, to get a flu shot, to vaccinate for COVID, and continue masking when children return to school,” Dr. Mezoff said.