To Whom it May Concern
During this unprecedented time, it is understandable that there is much concern for return to school activities for parents of children and youth. Unfortunately, there are no clear-cut answers.
Both the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recognize that school plays an important role in educational development, health and well-being for children. This must also be balanced with the health and safety of students, teachers and staff. We recommend that you utilize CDC resources to help make your decision for the upcoming school year. Further information to help you make an informed decision can be found on the CDC website.
You should consider monitoring the virus positivity rates in your area and work with your school to understand their reopening plan, how they intend to maintain a healthy environment, and what their plan is for someone who is sick. Additional information from the Florida Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics (FCAPP) can be found on the FCAAP website.
It is a difficult decision for many as there are so many factors to consider on returning to school, including health of the household, childcare and the developmental health and well-being of your child.
Whatever choice is made, we strongly recommend that you continue to follow guidelines on how to limit the spread of virus including: frequent hand-washing, monitoring symptoms daily, avoiding close contact, wearing a mask, avoiding large crowds, and understanding that none of these replace staying at home if sick. You may want to consider the health of your household and your child’s ability to wear and keep on a mask to determine whether physically returning to school is advisable.
There have been recent discussions about wearing face shields and goggles in addition to masks in the media. While face shields and goggles do offer some protection from droplets, it is important to consider proper fit and understand that it does not replace the need for wearing a mask, social distancing and frequent hand-washing. An inappropriate fit with frequent handling of pulling mask/face shields on and off can also be harmful.
If you have further specific questions, please contact our office.
We thank you for the privilege of caring for your child and do hope that you and your child stay safe in this trying time.
Pediatric Pulmonary Team