(WGGB/WSHM) -- Western Mass News is Your School Authority and is getting you answers to keep you and your family safe and prepared for the upcoming school year.

Tonight, we're digging deeper into the risks of sending your child to school with a compromised immune system.

"I think that’s a difficult conversation, a difficult decision for parents," said Dr. John O'Reilly with Baystate Medical Center.

Children or parents with compromised immune systems are a worry on the minds of many.

"If Grandma takes care of the kid and gets them off the bus and Grandma has kidney disease, or COPD, lung disease, diabetes, boy, I'd be really careful about that situation and try to limit that exposure as best I could," O'Reilly noted.

O'Reilly has advice in making the tough decision of sending your child back to school or not.

"We do know that kids are less likely to get severe disease which means they’re more likely to have some mild illness that a parent might not recognize as COVID, so they need to be on their toes, number one," O'Reilly explained.

Number two, O'Reilly told Western Mass News there seems to be an age difference in terms of how kids transmit COVID-19 to a family member

"Based on a big Korean study, kids under the age of ten basically only spread to their household contacts about five percent of the time. It's still there, but it’s a low risk. That means 95 percent of the time, they aren’t spreading COVID within their household," O'Reilly explained.

However, that percentage flips for kids over ten

"That 10 to 19 group basically will spread COVID to their household about 18 percent of the time...higher than the average of an adult would transfer, which is 11 to 12 percent," O'Reilly said.

Overall, O'Reilly said to really be mindful of any mild illness in your child and make sure everyone continues to clean surfaces, wash hands, and not share things as much as you normally might.

Western Mass News is Your School Authority. You have questions or concerns as schools prepare to open back up and we're getting you answers. You can call us with those questions at (413) 846-0200 or CLICK HERE.

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