It seems like the world is mostly upside down in this new normal of Corona time. Everything we do is weighed against the risks of exposing ourselves or others that we love to COVID-19.
Normally, this would be the month of heading to one’s favorite store for new school supplies and that special first-day-of-school outfit. Now, many families in the KC metro aren’t quite sure what school will look like.
It appears that most of the major school districts are choosing to delay the start of school, and some are planning for remote learning at first. Is this wise? So hard to know. What I do know is that my patients are missing their friends, their parents are overwhelmed with trying to be teachers, workers and parents, and many are facing significant economic hardship. What I also know is that many children live in places where WiFi is NOT a given, and have parents who don’t have the skills to be their children’s teachers (other than making sure they are actually sitting in front of the tablet/computer/phone during the Zoom appointment time)! I have teen patients who have been put in charge of their younger siblings learning while parents are working – and you can guess how that sometimes goes!
While we await final decisions on in-person learning, it’s time for children to get their vaccinations and check-ups, and of course, their Reach Out and Read gift of a new book (for those 5 years and under), or a gently used book (for those children older than 5), provided through generous donations of so many folks in the community!
I encourage people to consult with their child’s primary care provider to assist with difficult decisions on return to school. Click here for information from The American Academy of Pediatrics regarding return to school and sports.
If we want our children back in school safely, the community has to do its job of caring for everyone by wearing a mask. The percentage of positive COVID tests needs to be well below 5% to think about safe return to school, and the greater metropolitan area is not there yet! As always, we are so thankful for our ROR-KC donors.
Wash your hands, wear your mask, and don’t touch your face. This helps protect others and also protects you!
-Sallie Page-Goertz, MN, APRN, CPNP, IBCLC
Information for parents about returning to school: https://www.healthychildren.org/English/health-issues/conditions/COVID-19/Pages/Return-to-School-During-COVID-19.aspx
AAP guidance for returning to sports: https://services.aap.org/en/pages/2019-novel-coronavirus-covid-19-infections/clinical-guidance/covid-19-interim-guidance-return-to-sports/
Safety check list for sports participation: https://www.healthychildren.org/English/health-issues/conditions/COVID-19/Pages/Youth-Sports-Participation-During-COVID-19-A-Safety-Checklist.aspx