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Pediatrician: The truth about reopening schools during Covid

July 11, 2020. Summarized by summa-bot.

Des Moines Public Schools custodian Tracy Harris cleans chairs in a classroom at Brubaker Elementary School, Wednesday, July 8, 2020, in Des Moines, Iowa. Getting children back to school safely could mean keeping high-risk spots like bars and gyms closed. That's the latest thinking from some public health experts. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

The reopening of schools is the latest public health issue to be used in political talk, to the detriment of children, writes pediatrician Edith Bracho-Sanchez. The author says our collective goal should be to get children back in schools safely.

Recent recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics for in-person reopening of schools in the are based on the documented benefits of school for children and their families, as well as the understanding that coronavirus is a very different disease in children than in adults.

Yet while the data are reassuring and the benefits of in-person school attendance are clear, children simply don't exist in a vacuum: they need parents to drop them off and pick them up, teachers to teach them and babysitters--sometimes grandparents--to help.

It is unfair to ask parents to send their kids to school, and to ask teachers, many of whom have their own families, to show up to teach them, while the virus continues to surge in communities around the country.

If we are serious about reopening schools everywhere, we must be serious about containing this virus first.

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