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Why A.A.P. The guidelines are pushing to reopen schools this fall



The American Academy of Pediatrics has a conservative and cautious reputation, which is what you would expect from an organization dedicated to protecting children’s health. But this week the Academy took a dip with advice on the reopening of schools that seem to be in some way inconsistent with what administrators hear from some state and federal health officials.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, for example, have reported that remote learning is the safest option. But the Academy̵

7;s guidelines strongly recommend that students be “physically present at school” as much as possible and emphasize that there are major health, social and educational risks in keeping children at home.

Dr. Sean O’Leary, an infectious disease specialist in pediatrics at the University of Colorado Anschutz medical campus, helped write the Academy’s guidelines. He is a father of two, 12 and 16 years old, and a Covid-19 survivor who is still experiencing symptoms after he and his wife contracted coronavirus in March.

“I take it absolutely seriously,” said Dr. O’Leary. “I’m still sick.” But he explained why the academy was emphasizing the need to bring students back to class.

While I talk to school administrators, most are planning temperature checks. The Academy guidelines warn that this may not be practical and take the time of education away. Can you say more about why you are skeptical that this is the right strategy?

Do the damages outweigh the benefits? In this case, if it means that students are gathering, the risk of spreading may increase. And we don’t have much evidence that temperature screening is useful. This is for a couple of reasons. One, many children who have Covid-19, perhaps the majority, never have a fever. Use fever as a screen and assume it will be good enough? You will miss a child. And many fevers won’t be Covid-19. Children shouldn’t go to school with a fever, period.

  • Updated June 30, 2020

    • What are the symptoms of coronavirus?

      The most common symptoms include fever, dry cough, fatigue and breathing difficulties or shortness of breath. Some of these symptoms overlap with those of the flu, making it difficult to detect, but a runny nose and closed breasts are less common. The C.D.C. he also added chills, muscle aches, sore throats, headaches and a new loss of sense of taste or smell as symptoms to consider. Most people get sick five to seven days after exposure, but symptoms can appear in just two days or up to 14 days.

    • Is it more difficult to exercise while wearing a mask?

      A comment published this month on the website of the British Journal of Sports Medicine points out that covering one’s face during exercise “comes with problems of potential respiratory restriction and discomfort” and requires “benefits of balancing against possible adverse events”. Masks alter exercise, says Cedric X. Bryant, president and scientific director of the American Council on Exercise, a nonprofit organization that funds exercise research and certifies fitness professionals. “In my personal experience,” he says, “heart rates are higher at the same relative intensity when you wear a mask.” Some people may also experience dizziness during family workouts while they are disguised, says Len Kravitz, professor of motor sciences at the University of New Mexico.

    • I have heard of a treatment called dexamethasone. It works?

      The steroid, dexamethasone, is the first treatment shown to reduce mortality in seriously ill patients, according to scientists in Britain. The drug appears to reduce inflammation caused by the immune system, protecting the tissues. In the study, dexamethasone reduced the deaths of patients undergoing ventilation by one third and the deaths of patients with oxygen.

    • What is paid leave for a pandemic?

      The coronavirus emergency aid package gives many American workers a paid leave if they need to take time off because of the virus. It gives skilled workers two weeks of paid sick leave if they are sick, quarantined or seeking diagnosis or preventive treatment for coronavirus or if they care for sick family members. It gives 12 weeks of paid leave to people who care for children whose schools are closed or whose childcare provider is unavailable due to coronavirus. It is the first time that the United States has received extensive federal paid leave and includes people who generally do not get such benefits, such as part-time workers and those working in concert economics. But the measure excludes at least half of workers in the private sector, including those of the country’s largest employers, and offers small employers significant leeway to deny holidays.

    • Does Covid-19 asymptomatic transmission occur?

      So far, the evidence seems to prove it. A widely cited article published in April suggests that people are more contagious about two days before the onset of coronavirus symptoms and estimated that 44% of new infections were the result of transmission by people who were not yet experiencing symptoms. . Recently, one of the top experts from the World Health Organization said that the transmission of coronavirus by people who did not exhibit symptoms was “very rare”, but later rejected this claim.

    • What is the risk of catching coronavirus from a surface?

      Touching contaminated objects and then getting infected with germs is generally not the way the virus spreads. But it can happen. Numerous studies on influenza, rhinovirus, coronavirus and other microbes have shown that respiratory diseases, including the new coronavirus, can spread by touching contaminated surfaces, particularly in places such as day care centers, offices and hospitals. But a long chain of events has to happen for the disease to spread that way. The best way to protect yourself from coronavirus – whether it’s surface transmission or close human contact – is still social distancing, washing your hands, not touching your face and wearing masks.

    • How does the blood type affect the coronavirus?

      A study conducted by European scientists is the first to document a strong statistical link between genetic variations and Covid-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. Having type A blood was linked to a 50% increase in the likelihood that a patient would need to receive oxygen or go on a ventilator, according to the new study.

    • How many people have lost their jobs due to coronavirus in the United States?

      The unemployment rate dropped to 13.3 percent in May, the Department of Labor said on June 5, an unexpected improvement in the nation’s labor market as hires rebounded faster than economists expected. Economists had expected the unemployment rate to rise to 20 percent, after hitting 14.7 percent in April, which was the highest since the government started keeping official statistics after WWII. But the unemployment rate declined instead, with employers adding 2.5 million jobs after losing more than 20 million jobs in April.

    • How can I protect myself while I fly?

      If air travel is inevitable, there are a few steps you can take to protect yourself. More important: wash your hands often and stop touching your face. If possible, choose a place near the window. An Emory University study found that during the flu season, the safest place to sit on an airplane is near a window, as people sitting on the window seats had less contact with potentially sick people. Disinfect hard surfaces. When you get to your seat and your hands are clean, use disinfectant wipes to clean the hard surfaces of your seat such as the head and armrest, the safety belt buckle, the remote control, the screen, the back pocket and the table. the tray. If the seat is hard and non-porous or in leather or leather, you can also clean it. (Using wipes on padded seats could lead to a wet seat and the spread of germs instead of killing them.)

    • What should I do if I feel bad?

      If you have been exposed to coronavirus or think you have, and have a fever or symptoms such as coughing or breathing difficulties, call a doctor. They should give you advice on whether to be tested, how to get tested, and how to seek medical treatment without potentially infecting or exposing others.


As you were preparing these guidelines, the deadly potential emerged pediatric inflammatory syndrome linked to Covid-19 sways you at all?

We talked about it. It is in any case a rare condition. And therefore it is something we need to pay attention to and understand what the causes are and the best treatment. We must also emphasize that even those children who fell seriously ill, the vast majority of them recovered and did well.

The guidelines emphasize that teachers and school staff members should remain physically estranged to the maximum extent possible and conduct remote meetings. But I hear many teachers. Many frankly are afraid of going back to school before a vaccine is available. Some have told me that they believe their health is treated as expendable. What’s your message for them?

We are pediatricians. We are not educators. We don’t want to walk in the space where we don’t belong. But what I would say is that it depends on the level of risk for the individual person. Every district I talked to here in Colorado? They are making important considerations for their teachers, trying to understand how to protect them.

There are a couple of things we know now that we didn’t know when we closed schools in March. One is that the masks really seem to work. They are very effective. Two, physical distances also work. If they are taking all possible precautions, I think the risk is quite low.

Some of these are very personal decisions. But schools can do many things to make the environment as safe as possible.

What do you hope for next in terms of local schools planning to reopen?

The way this is implemented in August or September when schools reopen actually depends on what is going on with the virus at the time. If you are in a state that is doing well with very few cases, all the measures in the guide are much less important. But if you find yourself in a place where the virus rages, all of these things become much more important.

As a country, we need to access the same page. It is a tragedy for me that the virus has become a political problem. It costs tens of thousands, potentially hundreds of thousands of lives.

The reopening of schools is so important for children, but really for the whole community. Much of our world depends on whether children are in school and parents can work. Trying to work from home with the children’s home has a disproportionate impact on women. So it goes beyond the health of the child, which is obviously very important. As a country, we should do everything we can right now, for many reasons, to make sure we can safely reopen schools in the fall.




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