Baby Shark and more shows are touring in-person this summer–but is it safe for unvaccinated kids?

Baby Shark Live, Jojo Siwa, Kidz Bop Live and more are all touring live this summer—many performances are at indoor venues.

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@babysharklivetour/Instagram

As millions of Americans continue to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, the urge to have a "normal" summer is stronger than ever. Along with vacations and long overdue visits to see relatives, many families are avidly planning a variety of activities to enjoy this summer. Including summer concerts, which came to a screeching halt last year but appear to be back on for the summer concert season of 2021.

But since children aren't vaccinated against the virus just yet, that presents a bit of a dilemma for vaccinated parents.


Pinkfong recently announced the return of the Baby Shark Live tour, kicking off in Texas in June. The tour plans to hit 20 different cities in the month of June alone and most, if not all, of the shows, will be performed at indoor venues. Jojo Siwa's D.R.E.A.M. tour was canceled in 2020 due to the pandemic but has resumed for 2021 with rescheduled dates. Many of her tour venues are indoors, too. Kidz Bop Live also has a jam-packed summer concert tour schedule full of indoor arenas. Disney on Ice tours resumed this month all across the U.S., and yep, you guessed it—there aren't many outdoor ice-skating arenas available in the summertime.

While many states across the country have eased COVID crowd restrictions, that doesn't automatically mean large gatherings—indoors or outdoors—are safe for unvaccinated kids.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) still recommends avoiding large gatherings and crowds, especially for unvaccinated people. When you're visiting family, for example, public health officials say it's more likely you're aware of how many people will be around and who is vaccinated. In public spaces like restaurants, movie theaters and yes—indoor arenas—you can't control who you're around or if someone would get sick.

Though the risk for contracting COVID-19 is statistically higher for adults vs. children, mitigating risks and trying to stay safe is still incredibly important. The risk of viral transmission increases when people are near crowds or indoors in places that are poorly ventilated, according to the CDC.

If you plan to attend one of these live events or others, you should call the venue to see if they're complying with CDC guidelines when it comes to face masks and applying social distancing protocol to seating options, especially since a lot of singing and yelling is likely to happen during concerts with a lot of kids present.

CNN Medical Analyst Dr. Leana Wen shared some additional tips in regard to indoor summer concerts.

"Assume that [the venue] is probably not well-ventilated, and then make sure [they] have other mitigation measures," she said. "You definitely want to make sure masks are in place. You ideally would want 10 feet of distancing and not just 6 feet of distancing. And if that's not able to be done, I wouldn't go unless you're vaccinated."

The availability of the vaccine for kids will depend on the results of clinical trials, which are currently underway. The American Academy of Pediatrics has said it may be possible to have a vaccine for at least some children and adolescents before the 2021-22 school year, based on the current pace of research.

Until then, continue to assess risks and plan precautiously around your fun family summer activities.

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