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Pediatric doctors advocate for students to return to school

American Academy of Pediatrics says schools are fundamental to child development and emotional well-being

A new report released by doctors say now is the time for students to return to school. The American Academy of Pediatrics is strongly advocating students to be physically in school this fall. Even with the risk of coronavirus. Some parents say school offers more than just education.

AJ Shinault is a single dad to 6-year-old Rosaleigh. Shinault said social interaction is just as important as health.

“It’s a very important time in her life. You’re learning habits, your behaviors, how you pick your friends,” Shinault said.

The AAP released a statement this week saying:

“Schools are fundamental to child and adolescent development and well-being and provide our children and adolescents with academic instruction, social and emotional skills, safety, reliable nutrition, physical/speech and mental health therapy, and opportunities for physical activity, among other benefits. Beyond supporting the educational development of children and adolescents, schools play a critical role in addressing racial and social inequity. As such, it is critical to reflect on the differential impact SARS-CoV-2 and the associated school closures have had on different races, ethnic and vulnerable populations.”

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Earlier Tuesday, America’s top doctor seemed to echo that sentiment.

“I feel very strongly we need to do anything we can to get children back in school,” Dr. Anthony Fauci said, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

Shinault said he's concerned that going back to distance learning as a first grader may negatively impact Rosaleigh's development.

“I have a feeling it might. She’s still learning how to be social with people her age and kids that aren’t her age. This could be a problem if distance learning is prolonged longer,” said Shinault.

Dr. Fauci said a study is underway to help determine an infection rate of the virus for children and if they have less severe symptoms.

Many parents say a vaccine would give them peace of mind. Dr. Fauci said he is cautiously optimistic a vaccine will be made available by the end of the year.


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