MEMPHIS, Tenn. — To virtual learn or not to virtual learn.
That’s the decision that parents must make before the Friday deadline.
Jason Yaun is a pediatrician at Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital.
Yaun received a lot of questions from parents bringing their children in for checkups. Parents wanted to figure out if they should allow their children to go back into the classroom with coronavirus cases spiking.
“We try to help them make that decision based on what medical conditions the child may have, if they have any special healthcare needs or learning disabilities that require services provided through the school system,” said Yaun.
Although it’s not an easy decision, Yaun said it’s still not a bad idea for children to go into the classroom unless they have a medical history.
We asked the pediatrician if it was safe to send your child to school in this climate.
“As of right now, we are seeing some encouraging signs,” Yaun said. “It seems like the cases and hospital numbers are leveling off at this point.”
Yaun said he was encouraged by new data that came out this week that showed children nine years and younger were least likely to pass coronavirus on to other family members.
“For the older children for those ages 10-19 years old though, it was actually the opposite, they were actually the highest group to pass it on to other groups in the house,” Yaun said.
Livya Hill was one of the parents who was still trying to decide. She said she was torn between the two choices.
“Trying to juggle this is very stressful because like I said I’m so worried about my kids returning back to school,” Hill said.
Parents came to Shelby County School’s district office to complete a form about the next steps for their kids.
“It seem like this coronavirus going to last throughout the year,” Hill said. “I want to see how this go with my kids going back to school because I’m kind of not trusting sending my two kids back to school.
Yaun said masks, physical distancing and hand hygiene are key for children heading back into the classroom.
“I have two children and I plan to send them to be physically present in school as long as nothing drastically changes,” Yaun said.
Hill was worried because she has asthma.
Yaun believed parents needed to consider a few options before sending their children back into the classroom.
“What they’re home environment might look like, if there are any high-risk parents or any other family members in the home, what does the support look like for schooling at home or virtually,” Yaun said.
Pediatricians said the goal was for parents to allow their children to go back into the classroom, but making this decision should be made case by case.
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