I'm a pediatrician and I think we should reopen schools, even with the risk of coronavirus outbreaks
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At least 55 million U.S. students have left school due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Not being close to friends and school can lead to mental and other problems.
Dr. Kelly Fradin, a pediatrician, urges administrators to open schools despite the risks in the fall.
Fradin argues that the risks children face from leaving school may be worse than those associated with coronaviruses.
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It is understandable that parents, administrators and teachers are reluctant to reopen schools while the coronavirus pandemic continues. Children tend to have poorer hand hygiene than adults, often touching their faces and entering personal areas more often, which puts them at increased risk of getting sick and infecting others.
As a pediatrician, I see the steady stream of colds and other viral diseases that occur when children spend time together in a small space in the classroom at the beginning of each school year. Children appear to be less susceptible to the spread and spread of the corona virus, but are nevertheless at risk.
However, keeping children away from their peers, teachers, and a structured routine puts them at risk of problems that could outweigh the dangers of the coronavirus.
If children are kept away from school, they are at greater risk of developing psychological problems
These risks include missed learning opportunities, developing mental health problems, and less physical activity. Children with disabilities are at an even greater risk of regression and poorer development outcomes, especially if they rely on school-based therapies.
As individual families, we often prioritize and invest in our children - by choosing our neighborhoods based on school options. As a society, our children's education and well-being is one of the first priorities.
However, children seem to have been our last priority during the pandemic.
Children are exposed to a number of risks when they are kept away from school, including the development of mental health problems.
Dick Thomas Johnson
Fear of sending children back to school is fueled by news of small outbreaks related to school openings elsewhere, including Israel, Canada, and France. When these outbreaks occur, doubts arise for those who hope that the children can go back to school.
It is almost impossible to understand with certainty how the transfer is done. We know that young children are less likely to spread coronavirus than adults. We have seen some soothing anecdotes. Data from the Netherlands and Australia show that despite cases in open schools with hundreds of exposures, infection of other students was rare.
If there are a handful of small outbreaks among around 100,000 reopened schools, it doesn't necessarily mean a failure.
The bottom line is that children need school - no distance learning. You need live classes and socialization.
Schools need to take security measures, including washing their hands frequently and reducing class size
To reopen schools safely and securely, we can take a number of precautions, including: For example, promoting hand washing, reducing class size, ending class mixing, closing school playgrounds, and canceling specialties such as art and music that are based on mixing or moving students. We can check students for fever and stop sport. We can ask everyone to wear masks. We can install plexiglass shields and separate student desks.
The school must take a number of security measures, including frequent hand washing.
We can do that and more.
The best choice will be to balance the cost of interventions with their benefits.
It can be impossible to create a school-free school environment. It will also be expensive at a time when budgets are inevitably cut during an economic downturn.
The money for these interventions - including additional buses and sanitary stations - will go to other school services that benefit children.
What is even more worrying is that some of these interventions can do harm.
Some measures, such as B. temperature tests are insufficient and can lead to infections
Temperature control school
Sharing thermometers can lead to the spread of the disease. It could also exclude students who walked to school or rode their clothes undressed without catching the majority of children with coronavirus. In addition, several studies show that less than half of children with active coronavirus have a fever.
Closed playgrounds and canceled sports lead to less physical activity, which has a negative impact on the mental and physical health of children and can lead to poorer academic results. Masks can impair students' understanding and ability to respond appropriately to social cues.
The question that has not been answered sufficiently is what is our primary goal in schools. We started by trying to smooth the curve to prevent hospitals from being overwhelmed. Now we are waiting for an effective vaccine to be made, scaled and distributed.
However, children cannot afford to wait for it.
Children cannot afford to wait for the unrealistic zero transfer goal. It should be enough to avoid exponential growth in the event of outbreaks.
The communities need to work with their key stakeholders, parents and teachers to understand what risk is tolerable. Many may be willing to take a small risk to get most children back to school quickly. Instead of aiming for a risk-free school environment, I would suggest developing a plan to provide everyone with education that satisfies local health authorities, parents and teachers.
You don't have to aim for a contactless school day.
In particular, class sizes should be reduced, schools should focus on hand hygiene and limit the presence of unnecessary adults in schools. Schools may consider avoiding masks and face protection, especially for children under the age of 10. Given that up to 80% of children with active coronavirus have no symptoms, we should recognize that temperature screening is theatrical and is unlikely to reduce the presence of coronavirus.
Children cannot speak for themselves, so I will speak for them. Let them go back to school. In good faith, try to make schools cleaner, and students and staff will be safer. Just because we can do more does not always mean that we should.
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