We’re also privileged enough to have computers and reliable Wi-Fi for my children to learn remotely. High school students, for example, can tolerate distance learning better than preschool children. Parents are wrestling with difficult choices over sending their children to school. Sadly, the high numbers of infected children in the United States may actually provide some real data on this question as schools reopen. Likewise, John Brownstein, an infectious disease epidemiologist and the chief innovation officer of Boston Children's Hospital, is helping his kids' school come up with a plan for how to re-open. To confirm the direction of spread, scientists ideally would genetically sequence viral samples obtained from children to understand where and when they were infected, and whether they passed it on. For Katie McMillan, a public health expert with a digital health consultancy firm, it doesn't feel like the right time to send her three-year-old back to pre-school. But even if school was going back to normal, would I want to send my kids back? More than 70% of 22,000 parents surveyed said they would send their child to their school campus. If you send your kids back to school, it might be best to stay within your "germ pod" and avoid seeing people outside of your household or immediate circle of friends and family. But when you talk to your kids about the current plan — or about any changes as they arise — you should keep that in check. ... as opposed to the lurch from denial to panic and back again, is: ... school dismissals should be considered for the most severe and fast-spreading pandemics. Public School 159 in the Bayside neighborhood of Queens is one of 1,866 schools in New York City. Working parents are struggling with whether to send their kids back to school. The province reopened schools outside Montreal in the spring, with voluntary attendance. So we asked twenty doctors, public health experts and epidemiologists with school-age children if they're sending them to school this fall. We qualified for two days a week of schooling in person. Know the facts before deciding, should I send my kid back to school or not? But she didn't take the decision lightly. But community transmission is the most important factor in deciding whether children should go back to school, researchers agreed. However, with Sickkids' guidelines only being recommendations for schools, Casey does not think it is safe yet to send children back to school. Should I send my kids back to school? “I keep saying to people, ‘It’s so hard to study transmission — it’s just really, really hard,’” Dr. Jenkins said. Peter Titmuss | Education Images | Getty Images. Infectious disease specialist Dr. Abdu Sharkawy believes it is still too soon for kids … (David Goldman/AP) Stay home for 15 days to flatten the curve, they said. Every study I read, every expert I talked to, was filling in columns on this sheet: reasons for and against sending my children back to school come September. Many adults seem to have debilitating symptoms for weeks or months after they first fall ill. “What percentage of kids who are infected have those long-term consequences that we’re increasingly worried about with adults?” Dr. Ranney wondered. Can I be fined if I don’t send my kids to school ... “Schools should work ... said that fines shouldn't be imposed if parents were reluctant to send their children back to school. 20 Questions to Ask before Sending your Kids Back to School. Luke Gronneberg/The Daily News, via Associated Press, want to prioritize educators for a vaccine, college doctors reflect on the role of sports. For single parents, the equation might be different. U.S. unveils restrictions on H-1B foreign work visas. Yes, kids should be going back to school in the fall An empty playground outside the Achievement First charter school in Providence, R.I., on March 7. HOUSTON, TEXAS -- Many parents are raising concerns as school districts try to lay out a plan for reopening schools in the Fall. By David Engle, July 9, 2020. She ultimately decided in favor of in-person learning because the college, which is in a relatively remote area, had systems and processes in place to keep the kids safe. Children may turn out to be less at risk of becoming infected, “but not meaningfully different enough that I would take solace in it or use it for decision making,” said Dr. Ashish Jha, dean of the Brown University School of Public Health. In New York, the numbers are low enough that my husband and I have a real choice to make. For now, my COVID calculus points in the way my son hoped — towards a mini back-to-school in June. Moreover, school districts might react differently if there is an outbreak. Unfortunately, the answer is: it depends. Boris Johnson promised to 'fully reopen' schools in … "I need them back in school yesterday," said Dr. Jon Steuernagle, who's currently separated from his partner and is looking after the kids most of the time on his own. | Ask CIDD. She feels confident about the plans underway at her own school, but it's hard to know what the future will hold. Still, with Covid-19 still spreading in the United States, it's a firm "no" for him. The situation is highly confusing and the guidelines seem to be shifting. Would you send your kids back to school this fall? Q: My son isn't shielding but has asthma. Also in the con column: two South Korean studies, flawed as they were, which suggested children can spread the virus to others — and made me wonder whether my sixth-grader, at least, should stay home. But parents and caregivers might wonder whether it's safe to send their kids to school during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. That’s the only way I’ll feel safe. Sending kids back to school amid coronavirus concerns is giving parents anxiety. And his wife is a fifth-grade teacher, which makes the issue more complex for him. Dr. Dan Buckland, an emergency medicine doctor at Duke, feels relatively confident about sending his kids back to school if the right steps are taken to keep them safe. Teachers and school nurses will also need protective equipment, Dr. Jenkins said: “Good P.P.E. Many doctors I know say they would send their children of any age back to school. Got a confidential news tip? © 2020 CNBC LLC. That conjecture has proved correct. But it's likely that their school will embrace more of a hybrid model, meaning some combination of remote and in-person learning. The situation starting to level off in Austin, he notes, although it's unclear how things will be in the fall. Kids, especially young ones, are less likely to contract and spread the coronavirus. Although many states are emerging from coronavirus (COVID-19) lockdown, there is no one right answer to whether or not you should send your child back to daycare. Other schools are on rotating days. Restaurants and bars owned by celebrities. They won’t be able to play with friends at the playground. But as other parents called and texted to ask what I was planning to do, I turned to the real experts: What do we know about the coronavirus and children? Researchers guessed even then that younger children could probably catch the coronavirus, but were mostly spared severe symptoms. The U.K. government is now expected to drop plans to send all primary school children back before the summer holiday, according to reports.. … “If you’re in a really hard-hit part of the country, it’s highly likely that somebody coming into the school will be infected at some point.”. Here's a summary of what each group had to say. Should you send your kids back to school in September? Dr. Ashish Jha, director of the Harvard Global Health Institute, is feeling confident that his three kids will return to their schools in Massachusetts this fall. Children discussed their summer vacations on the first day of school in Russia, Ohio, earlier this month. Because most children are asymptomatic, for example, household surveys and studies that test people with symptoms often miss children who might have seeded infections. Parents who have been shielding during the pandemic have raised concerns about sending their kids back to school next month. Ask the Expert: Is it safe to send my asthmatic child back to school? Parents everywhere are grappling with the question whether it's safe to send their children back to school. "Our infection numbers are relatively low," he said. "If you open up without a good plan in a place that isn't safe, you'll get outbreaks and you'll shut down," he explained. No way this virus can survive a Texas summer (we humans barely do). His kids, who are aged 9 and 10, will go back to school unless community transmissions spike in the area. “Teachers are reasonably safe in those environments, as well.”. And he recognizes the challenges with maintaining social distancing when it comes to young kids. A survey showed that some epidemiologists won't send their kids back to school until winter or next year. Some of the doctors say they don't have much of a choice. RELATED: Starting High School?Here’s How To Prepare For Your Very First Day. Clock ticking for parents to make decision to send kids back to school or stick with online learning. “I have no intention of sending my children back to school until September. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently released guidelines emphasizing that students get back to the classroom for the sake of their own emotional well-being. A Parent’s Toughest Call: In-Person Schooling or Not? The risks to students from school closures, including “virtual dropouts”, lack of food security, safety, and adverse impacts on social, physical and mental health, must be weighed against risks from being back in school. How to decide. Cases in North Carolina, where she lives, are continuing to rise. Even without a pandemic, that’s more than enough sneezes, coughs, and booger wipes to spread germs across the entire room. Data is a real-time snapshot *Data is delayed at least 15 minutes. My mother-in-law lives downstairs in a separate unit and may be more vulnerable to the virus. Should you send your child back to school in the fall? I feel like there should be enough in place by then to give me confidence they will be safe and in turn not making me ill. I’m a single mother of four children, so I have no one to turn to if I get sick. “The No. But sending your kid to school should involve other factors too. But reports in adults increasingly suggest that death is not the only severe outcome. Children and adolescents up to age 20 (definitions and statistics vary by state) represent less than 0.3 percent of deaths related to the coronavirus, and 21 states have reported no deaths at all among children. "If I were in Dallas, for instance, which is experiencing an active outbreak, I'd strongly recommend against it.". Back to School; Does Not Apply Disagree Unsure Agree; I feel comfortable with my school’s reopening plans for reducing risk of spreading COVID-19. Should I Send My Child to School? Social distancing dividers for students are seen in a classroom, July 14, 2020. Even with the rising number of infections, the possibility that panics parents the most — that their children could become seriously ill or even die from the virus — is still reassuringly slim. Others were deferring their decision to the school. So while he thinks it's possible for many schools to safely open up, but believes that much more should have been done on a federal level to help them prepare. Social Sharing. A back-to-school resource fair the day before schools reopened in Los Angeles County this year. The problem with how many school districts are planning to start the school year is that it isn’t school like they know. Dr. Jonathan Slotkin, vice chair of neurosurgery at Geisinger based in Pennsylvania, is keeping his five-year-old at home. For Choo, that's a big challenge as there's no way to know yet whether Covid-19 cases will spike by then. McMillan, with the help of her childrens' grandparents, keeps up with her own work as best she can. Most families are required to make their decision within the next two weeks. Yes, this benefit comes with a risk, but according to the best available information, that risk is incredibly small — a morbid lottery ticket. The odds are high that the whole household will benefit emotionally. Based on everything we currently know about COVID-19 and about the effects of the lockdown on children, sending kids back to school this fall is the right thing to do. On the questions of how often children become infected, how sick they get and how much they contribute to community spread, the answers were far more nuanced. Kids should not go to school if they have had close contact with someone with COVID-19. She said this is a moment for parents to be really thoughtful about their children’s temperaments, as well as their specific academic needs and how those might be harmed by a mid-year shift from in-person learning back … “Some kids are more adaptable than others,” Busman said. Confusion, overwhelm, outright fear . Many parents face a similarly tough road because their shifts are long and it's a challenge to find childcare. If you have an office job but your company has not yet announced such a change, consider putting together a solid case and give them your request. When schools reopen: Scheduled days home, more online learning, lots of hand-washing It's a struggle because her youngest is only eight months old. SHOULD MY CHILD GO BACK TO ... the opinion on whether to send a child back to school varies. Should I Send My Kid Back To School In-Person? Transmission has been the most challenging aspect of the coronavirus to discern in children, made even more difficult by the lockdowns that kept them at home. 5 questions to consider . In the United States, children under age 19 still represent just over 9 percent of all coronavirus cases. New York schoolchildren study at home during the coronavirus lockdown on April 6, 2020. Likewise, Aaron Miri, a chief information officer for UT Health Austin in Texas, said it would all depend on the plan in place. Vicky McKeever @vmckeevercnbc. 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