BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - The American Academy of Pediatrics has issued a statement advocating for any pandemic plans relating to education involve a plan to get students back in classrooms.
In short, the organization says the consequences of keeping children at home outweigh the danger of sending them back to class.
The report lists in bold that any policy developed should have the goal of having students physically present in schools.
The decision was made with a holistic approach.
“Recognizing there are harms of not being in school plus what we have subsequently learned about the virus itself,” said Dr. David Kimberlin, a pediatrics professor at UAB and an ex-officio member of AAP.
Dr. Kimberlin says that there will still be risks.
“We need to have less numbers of people together, we need greater distance for people near each other, and we need to wear masks,” he said.
Of course, with young children, that's often easier said than done.
“I can promise you it’s not going to go smoothly, I think anyone who thinks it’s a cake walk has not really been awake for the last several months,” Dr. Kimberlin said.
The report takes into account possible social isolation, learning gaps, and even the likelihood of abuse at home.
“Getting kids back to school in the fall is exactly the right thing to do with proper planning,” says Dr. Kimberlin.
He says the data supports that children are less likely to transmit the virus.