Should I send my child back to school?
We thought we would share our feelings around this emotive question as we have been asked. We know how much anxiety everyone has at the moment, especially about whether to send their child to school. There are many different opinions and choices.
Firstly we are paediatricians and not politicians. We are all mothers.
We have the following thoughts…
The vast majority of children do not seem to be significantly affected by Covid-19, even when considering the new condition we wrote about this week (PIMS-TS)
Children do not seem to be the ‘super spreaders’ that some people think and there is some evidence to support this.
For many children, school is a protective environment- home life can be chaotic or even put them at risk. For some, having contact with those outside their family and access to nutritious food is really important to keep them safe.
Covid-19 is not going away any time soon. We need to try and find a way forwards for our children and their education, whatever their age. Having all struggled with working and home educating, it cannot be a long term solution for most.
We are worried about the mental health and emotional consequences seen in children as a result of this pandemic. Going back to school and having some return to structure may be beneficial.
Teachers are absolute super heroes. We hope that those who do return to teach and those that are already supporting key worker children are doing so in a way that keeps them safe. We thank you all.
Are we worried about our own children? Of course. Have some of our children been in key worker classes in school throughout the pandemic? Yes they have. Are we sending our children back to school whenever they open? Yes we are.
We are not aiming to change people’s choices. It is an individual choice based on own circumstances- we know that some of you may have a vulnerable member of your family that you wish to protect and this will influence your choice.
Above all, we need to be kind and respect the decisions of others without seeking to change. Every family has their own story.