The Portuguese Society of Pediatrics advocates the urgent reopening of schools, especially in the pre-primary and 1st and 2nd cycle of basic education, and draws attention to the consequences of the closure for the development of children.
In a joint position, the Portuguese Pediatric Society (SPP), the Board of Directors of the Pediatric College of the Ordem dos Médicos and the National Commission on Maternal, Child and Adolescent Health consider it urgently necessary for decision-makers to reopen schools and integrate them into Consider children in activities that meet their real needs.
“The approach to normal may need to be gradual, with continuous and reasonable evaluation, but it needs to be programmed quickly and consistently,” they relate.
For these institutions, the urgency is greater in pre-school education and in the first and second cycles of basic education, either because of the important role that contact with educators and other children plays in the psychomotor development of basic skills, or because of the greater impact on functioning in society and less risk of community contagion.
“The opening of schools to the rest of the teaching phases may need to be gradual through teaching cycles, leaving a variety of less difficult teaching methods outside the classroom for later. But let’s not forget the need to socialize young people whose mental health is at risk, ”they emphasize.
These companies believe that the plans established for the start of the current school year have proven effective and well followed by school professionals and students with no relevant outbreaks from educational institutions.
Because of this, they argue that strengthening epidemiological surveillance by health care providers will make it possible to minimize the risk associated with opening schools and ensure that targeted measures control the spread of the disease without the need to take more aggressive measures.
In the joint position they recall that “it was established from the beginning that children were little affected and usually had a mild illness with very sporadic cases of serious illness, and that in contrast to other better ill children it soon became apparent that known viral diseases contributed little to the spread of the disease ”.
For these facilities, the closure of schools and the mandatory home stay of children of all ages directly add to the impact Covid-19 disease has on them in terms of development, learning, behavior, routines, and family and social relationships.
“High social risk children who have moments of normalcy, security and adequate nutrition in school are even more susceptible to the risk posed by distance. We remember that it is often the school that sets off the first alarm that initiates investigative and protective measures, ”they point out.
According to the SPP, the Pediatric College of the Ordem dos Médicos and the National Commission on Maternal, Child and Adolescent Health, all changes and social inequalities, as well as the risks associated with them, will have a direct impact on the life expectancy of these children and their ability to evolve society itself in years to come.