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Local pediatrician discusses back-to-school challenges, prepping amid pandemic

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BATON ROUGE- Students might be active in the classroom, but data suggests children are not passing the coronavirus to each other.

"It seems children are getting coronavirus from adults. Not so much from other children. We mainly think of children as our super spreaders, but this virus is acting a little bit different," Dr. Mindy Calandro said. "We're mainly seeing it starting in adults. The adult is the one starting a COVID infection in a child."

Those facts, according to local pediatrician Dr. Calandro, show that the virus has not been as bad in children. As schools begin to release their reopening plans for the fall, she says getting kids back to class safely is important.

"The American Academy of Pediatrics came out with their recommendations last week that also agrees that children need to be in school. Our children have fallen behind somewhere between 5 to 6 months based on schools closing in March."

Dr. Calandro says she is already seeing the impacts of isolation.

"I have seen far more depression and anxiety, particularly in my younger aged kids. It's really started since quarantine and lockdown."

She says districts should take steps to minimize risks and be flexible when it comes to virtual learning.

And for those who plan to send their children back to school in the fall, Dr. Calandro says it's crucial to start practicing these preventative measures.

"Masking is going to be key to making sure our children are safe this fall and our teachers as well."

Doctor Calandro adds it's important to stay informed and up-to-date on how your school district is working through the current challenges.

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