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Local pediatricians discuss back to school safety for children

Summer school enrollment spikes at Paso Robles High School
Posted at 6:11 PM, Jul 07, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-07 23:04:27-04

As school districts consider how to re-open this fall, local pediatricians are discussing some steps parents can take to help protect their children.

Some parents have said they're afraid to send their kids back to school this year.

"Now that we have COVID we have to take a step back and say, what is going to be safe for our children going back to school," said Santa Maria pediatrician Dr. Ricardo Flores.

Health officials say reinforcing good habits is a good start.

"Reinforce those good habits, reinforce the hand-washing and reinforce the distancing. They'll carry that to school as well," said Dr. Flores.

School districts around the coast have been weighing their options for fall classes.

Just last month, San Luis Coastal Unified School District came up with a draft plan called "Plan A" which included adding additional hand-washing stations, restricting students with temperatures of 100.4 or over, as well as spacing between desks to provide social distancing.

Pediatricians say conversations between parents and children about hygiene practices are highly encouraged.

"You need to reinforce the rules even before they go back to school, so you need to be the example. Parents need to be the example," said Flores.

Dr. Rene Bravo a pediatrician in San Luis Obispo stated, "Daily parental monitoring of children's temperature and overall health is also essential and keeping unwell children home is recommended... frequent conversations with children will help them better recognize and implement these precautionary steps."

While some schools are still trying to cope with the ongoing changes and concerns surrounding fall classes, health officials say the most important thing a parent can do is be involved in the decision-making process.

"They have a plan to re-open and it may not be a perfect plan but at least it's a plan and this is where parents should feel comfortable contacting the school administrators and saying, 'what is the plan?'" Flores said.

The Santa Maria-Bonita School District said they still have not made any decisions yet about reopening schools for in-person instruction this year and will continue to look at their options.