The American Academy of Pediatrics is recommending schools reopen this fall with students "physically present" in their classrooms, as the negative impacts are already being shown in children since schools closed earlier this spring.
"The importance of in-person learning is well-documented," the AAP said in recently released guidance, reports the U.K.'s Daily Mail. "The AAP strongly advocates that all policy considerations for the coming school year should start with the goal of having students physically present in school."
Being away from school for too long can often result in a sense of social isolation, which makes it difficult for schools to identify and address issues such as physical or sexual abuse, substance use, depression, and even suicidal thoughts, and places children and adolescents "at considerable risk of morbidity and in some cases, mortality," the guidance said.
In addition, being away from school has caused a "substantial impact on food security and physical activity for children and families," the report said.
The organization acknowledged children and adolescents are less likely to be symptomatic or have "serious disease" from COVID-19 and "may be less likely to become infected and to spread infection."
The report surfaced while several states have seen increased coronavirus case numbers, including Friday, when the United States recorded the largest single-day increase of the pandemic, with 45,000 new cases. Overall, there are 2.5 million coronavirus cases in the United States, and Texas, Florida, and other southern states are reversing some parts of their reopening efforts.
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