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 the coronavirus.
“The importance of in-person learning is well documented, and there is already evidence of the negative impacts on children due to the closing of schools in the spring of 2020. The prolonged time out of school and the associated disruption of support services to They often result in social isolation, making it difficult for schools to identify and address significant learning deficits, such as physical or sexual abuse of children and adolescents, substance use, depression, and suicidal ideation. “
Schools are probably not greatly amplifying the spread of the coronavirus, and children are less likely to become seriously ill from the virus than adults, the pediatric group added.
While there is no way to completely eliminate the risk of the virus spreading, the AAP listed specific recommendations based on different grade levels.
For example, pre-kindergarten schools should focus on hand hygiene, organize classes to minimize crossing between children and adults, and use outdoor spaces when possible. Facial covers or physical distancing are of lower priority since these strategies may be more difficult to implement in younger children.
But in middle and high schools, universal face liners should be required when a distance of 6 feet cannot be maintained and desks must be placed a distance of 3 to 6 feet.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, also suggested that keeping schools closed generally is not necessary.
The coronavirus pandemic shows no signs of slowing down in the United States.
CNN’s Maggie Fox, Annie Grayer, Christina Maxouris, Eric Levenson and Elizabeth Hartfield contributed to this report.