Improved mental health for parents and children….

It’s been one year since our children were sent home from school, and I cetainly was delighfully naive enough to think that they would likley be back in a few weeks.

Denial can be traitrous friend.

The issue of whether or not to reopen schools, to what degree, and by which means has been hotly debated in the last year since the pandemic first took hold.

We know a lot more now than we did then. One year ago, based on data from other pandemics and respiratory viruses, we shut down schools with the idea that children would be primary vectors of COVID spread. We now understand that children are not superspreaders, they are less likely to get severe disease, and that with science-based mitigation interventions schools can safely curb the spread of infection.

Indiana is now vaccinating educators and childcare workers. 

There is another important reason to ensure the safe reopening of schools: The mental health of children and their families.

With one year of data, the CDC has found that children and their parents who primarily receive in-person instruction: 

  • Report less stress and anxiety. Compared to children who learn virtually or in hybrid settings, the in person learning group reported improved metrics in 11 of 17 indicators of stress, phyiscal, and mental health.  
  • Are more physically active. This suggests that virtual learning presents more risk than in-person instruction related to child and parental emotional and mental health. 

American Academy of Pediatrics President Dr. Lee Savio Beers said, “This survey really shows us what pediatricians have been seeing in their offices across the country, which is that the pandemic and virtual learning has put a tremendous strain on families. Safe, in-person learning should be our highest priority for children right now.”

Resource

Children’s Mode of Instruction and Family Well-Being

 

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