Paediatricians of Ontario ready to support the Government of Ontario to get kids back to school
The Pediatricians Alliance of Ontario (PAO) strongly supports safe re-opening of schools as soon as possible.
Students in Kawartha Lakes and Haliburton are returning to TLDSB schools today, but not in Muskoka. In an e-mail to parents, the Chief Medical Officer of Health for Simcoe Muskoka agrees that students should return to class in Muskoka. The problem still remains that Muskoka is still connected with Simcoe Country as one health unit in the province.
Ontario pediatricians are witnessing first-hand the effect of school closures on children and youth. The closures are having a major immediate effect on the emotional functioning and physical health of children and families. Paediatricians are seeing a sharp increase in suicidal attempts, depression, anxiety, substance abuse, overdoses, eating disorders, obesity, and late presentation of a host of medical conditions in patients.
“Schools are an essential service. Teachers, children and youth workers and early childhood educators are essential to the functioning of our society and must be considered as such,” said Dr. Sharon Burey, President of the Pediatricians Alliance of Ontario. “We strongly urge the Government of Ontario to widely publicize and promote supports that our children, parents and educators need to function better during this COVID-19 pandemic.”
We wholeheartedly support the return to in person learning with enhanced safety measures, as announced by Stephen Lecce Ontario’s Minster of Education yesterday.
Systematic testing, vaccinating teachers, reducing class sizes, wearing masks, hand hygiene, and maintaining two metres physical distance are known strategies that will keep our schools and society safe.1
Dr. Burey continued, “As always, the PAO is happy to partner with the Government of Ontario to ensure that needed supports are received by families that are most vulnerable.”
The PAO represents Pediatricians throughout the province of Ontario. Its mission is to advocate for the health and well-being of Ontario children and be the representative voice of its pediatricians. Pediatricians Alliance of Ontario: Children’s Specialists for Life.
- Sick Kids- COVID-19: Guidance for School Operation during the Pandemic https://www.sickkids.ca/en/news/archive/2021/covid19-updated-guidance-school-operation-during-pandemic/
- PAO- Proper planning required for the COVID-19 classroom. https://www.thestar.com/opinion/contributors/2020/08/03/proper-planning-required-for-the-covid-19-classroom.html