Sick Kids Hospital says kids should go back to school in September or risk developmental, mental, behavioural health issues

New report provides guidance on hand-washing, student screening, wearing of masks

The Hospital for Sick Children (Sick Kids) says kids should go back to school in September for the sake of their mental and developmental health.

A report released by Sick Kids on Wednesday addresses how schools can reopen in September while maximizing the safety and well-being of students, staff, and their families. The hospital says not going back in September risks some long-term impacts.

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The Sick Kids report recommends teaching children proper handwashing techniques

“We have to accept that COVID-19 will stay with us for a long time. We must move on with certain activities in our lives, such as schooling while keeping in mind that there are a lot of ways to mitigate risk,” says Dr. Ronald Cohn, President, and CEO of Sick Kids and one of the authors of the document.

“Not opening schools in September would continue to have a negative impact on the mental, behavioural and developmental health of children. We hope these recommendations help provide a framework to keep everyone safe when school doors reopen.”

Sick Kids Hospital is recommending kids get screened before entering school

Sick Kids has been working with the Ministry of Education and the Government of Ontario to provide guidance on schools’ safe opening. Its recommendations include screening, hand hygiene, and physical distancing. The report is available online.

The report recommends parents and guardians help educators in screening their children for symptoms of COVID-19 daily. Temperature checks upon entry are not recommended here, as Sick Kids say only about half of kids with COVID-19 have a fever, and it would only result in delays in getting to the classroom.