Charleston, S.C. (WCBD) – The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) is recommending students physically return to the classroom this fall under guidelines that many districts have already implemented such as distancing desk, and having students and teachers wear masks.
Children make up less than 8% of COVID-19 positive cases across the U.S. and less than 3% of hospitalizations, according to Chief of Pediatric Care at MUSC Children’s Health Dr. Elizabeth Mack.
“Young children tend to be what we are calling ‘viral dead ends.’ In other words, they might come in contact with the virus or they might have an asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic infection but they’re not wildly infectious,” Mack said.
Pediatricians are pushing for the return of students to the classroom as cases of child abuse and neglect have increased since March.
“I’ve seen far more gun violence affecting children, far more suicide attempts, far more behavioral disturbances, and things like that,” mentioned Mack.
Dr. Valerie Scott, MD at Mount Pleasant Family Practice for Roper St. Francis Healthcare says schools provide more than education for students including nutrition and a safe place.
“There were issues with children being abused and there was no one to report it because they didn’t go to school for the school counselors and teachers to see that,” stated Scott.
If a child returns to school, doctors say sanitizing high touch surfaces around your home like counters and doorknobs are the best way to prevent the spread of germs.
The AAP says policies regarding COVID-19 should be constantly reviewed by healthcare professionals, school officials, and families.