The group, which represents and guides pediatricians across the country, updated its back to school recommendations to say that the evidence shows that the academic, mental and physical benefits of in-person learning outweigh the risks of coronavirus.
“The importance of learning in person is well documented and there is already evidence of the negative impact on children due to the closure of schools in the spring of 2020. A long period of distance from school and the associated interruption of support services they often lead to social isolation, making it difficult for schools to identify and deal with major learning deficits, as well as physical or sexual abuse of children and adolescents, substance use, depression and suicidal ideation. “
Schools are probably not greatly boosting the spread of coronavirus, and children are less likely to become seriously ill with viruses than adults, the pediatric group added.
Although there is no way to completely eliminate the risk of spreading the virus, the AAP has listed specific recommendations based on different levels of assessment.
For example, kindergarten schools should focus on hand hygiene, class cohorts to minimize crossover between children and adults and use outdoor spaces whenever possible. Face protection or physical removal have a lower priority as these strategies may be more difficult to implement on younger children.
But in middle and high schools, universal face linings should be required when a 6-foot distance cannot be maintained and desks must be placed 3 to 6 feet apart.
Dr Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute for Allergies and Infectious Diseases, also suggested that it is not necessary to keep schools closed in general.
The coronavirus pandemic shows no sign of slowing down in the United States.
CNN’s Maggie Fox, Annie Grayer, Christina Maxouris, Eric Levenson and Elizabeth Hartfield contributed to this report.