Experts as SickKids Hospital in Toronto are calling for schools to reopen as a matter of mental health for the kids as well as a way to avoid adverse health and welfare consequences, according to CTV News.
The Toronto Hospital for Sick Children, known as SickKids, recently released a handful of recommendations compiled by their experts calling for schools to reopen while adhering to social distancing and hygiene guidelines.
They have presented advice for screening students for symptoms, proper hand hygiene and how to use face masks properly as well as cleaning and ventilation protocols.
SickKids acknowledged that closing schools initially was a good idea however they also stressed the importance of schools opening back up now, citing the students mental health as one of the factors.
“It is critical that we balance the risks of COVID-19 in children, which appear to be minimal, with the harms of school closure which is impacting their physical and mental health,” the recommendations state.
Among other the listed consequences of keeping schools closed, the statement included, decreased vaccination coverage and delayed diagnosis of illnesses unrelated to COVID-19. There was also mention of the darker side of school closures such as a heightened exposure to child abuse and neglect.
Another reason cited for reopening schools is the fact that children account for a very small percentage of COVID-19 cases and of those infected, the majority of them are asymptomatic or face only mild symptoms. So far, Canada has zero cases of of paediatric deaths related to COVID-19.
Of the 98,605 COVID-19 cases across Canada as of June 15, only 6.9 percent of them were in children aged 0-19 and public health officials believe that particular age group is not only less susceptible to contracting the virus but also much less likely to transmit it to others. Children who have multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C) who also contract COVID-19 may need to be hospitalized however that is only in severe cases and it relatively rare.