As we near the end of summer and schools share their plans for reopening, there are, undoubtedly, many questions parents and caregivers have due to COVID-19’s impact on our communities. There are certainly no easy, one-size-fits-all answers to these questions. After all, we are facing an unprecedented situation. Both the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have published guidance documents addressing safety measures that schools and parents can practice to mitigate risk. These measures do just that – mitigate – but they cannot eliminate all risk of acquiring COVID-19.
Dr. Galit Holzmann, associate director of Infection Prevention at Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus, addresses many top-of-mind questions in a blog found here. These and many others are common questions and considerations for parents and caregivers of school-aged children. There is understandable uncertainty for parents regarding whether schools will or should physically open, and whether they should send their children to school if/when physical reopening occurs.
Ultimately, the decision of whether to send a child back to school will be a personal one for each family, incorporating the overall physical and emotional health of the child, presence of high-risk underlying medical conditions in household members, the ability to learn virtually, the extent of community spread, the family structure and finances, and parent’s/child’s comfort level.