Navigating Back-to-School Topics

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Aug 17

Allegro Pediatrics

Navigating Back-to-School Topics

by Allegro Pediatrics

There is a mix of emotions among parents and children as the start of school approaches. As a parent, you may be feeling anxious about the rise of COVID infections, overwhelmed trying to make sure kids have school supplies and forms turned in, and maybe even a little relieved that there is a glimmer of routine on the horizon. Here are some tips to help you navigate the back-to-school topics many families are facing.

How to Consider the Decision to Return to In-person School as the Delta Variant Increases

Many parents have expressed concern regarding their decision to send their children back to in-person school. This decision has been complicated by the Delta variant causing a rise in COVID cases and the delay in COVID vaccine eligibility for elementary school kids. Every family will have unique and individual factors to consider when weighing the risks of social isolation versus possible infection. The following topics will be important to acknowledge when determining the right choice for your family.

In-person learning provides important interactions that are essential to a child’s social and emotional development. Over the last 18+ months, there has been a significant rise in rates of anxiety, depression, eating disorders, and learning struggles among children. Continuing to isolate children may cause social and emotional developmental delays, and it is unknown if prolonging isolation will have additional long-term impacts.

COVID-19 is a serious illness, and the risk of infection is scary. The good news is that studies from across the country and the world have shown that virus transmission in school settings is uncommon when students and teachers comply with multiple layers of protection. These layers include making sure everyone attending school is wearing a well-fitting mask, keeping children home if they are symptomatic, getting children tested for COVID if they are symptomatic or if there is a possible exposure, physical distancing, proper ventilation, and performing good hand hygiene. If your child has confirmed or suspected COVID, it will be is also important to comply with isolation guidelines to further prevent the spread of the disease. Additionally, we strongly encourage everyone to receive a COVID vaccine when eligible. This will help protect our children as well as help prevent new COVID variants from emerging.

The providers at Allegro are here to offer guidance and support the decision that is best for your family.  Please schedule a Virtual Visit if you have a specific situation in your family that you would like to discuss with your primary care pediatrician.

Tips for School Sports Forms

Your child may need forms completed if they participate in school athletics. Here are some tips to make sure your child is ready and eligible for the start of the season.

Allegro Pediatrics follows AAP guidelines and recommends an annual Well Child Check-up to monitor your child’s health and development. This is typically scheduled around their birthday. Our online scheduling allows you to book up to a year in advance, making it easy to find a preferred day and time. Your child is required to have had a Well Child Check-up within the last 2 years in order for an Allegro provider to sign a sports form.

Submitting forms through our Patient Portal is the most efficient way to get your forms signed without having to come into one of our clinics. Please fill out this request form if you don’t have a Patient Portal account and would like to sign up.

Any patient who is 12 years or older and has received a positive COVID test will need to have a screening EKG prior to a provider being able to clear them for sports and sign any required forms. This is due to the fact that COVID infection can cause inflammation of the heart. An EKG will ensure their heart was not inflamed in any way that could affect their safety during intense exercise. Send a portal message to your child’s provider if they have tested positive for COVID and need an EKG referral. Please be aware that EKG testing can take up to a week to schedule and receive results.

Reestablishing a Consistent Routine

Over the last 18+ months, it may have been difficult to adhere to a consistent routine. As we all strive for some sense of normalcy, it is important to reestablish consistent routines.

There is nothing scarier than the unknown. A consistent routine allows children to feel safe, calm, and have a sense of accomplishment in handling their own lives. Restoring a routine can begin by establishing a set time for going to bed and waking up, limiting screen time, and enjoying dinner as a family. Don’t forget to include opportunities for personal connection in your routine. We encourage routine family connecting time, especially time with no agenda to just be together.