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AAP. American Academy of Pediatrics updates interim pandemic guidance: Urges in-school learning be prioritized.” https://www.aap.org/en/news-room/news-releases/aap/2021/american-academy-of-pediatrics-updates-interim-pandemic-guidance-urges-in-school-learning-be-prioritized/. Published Jan. 28, 2021. Accessed Jan. 28, 2022.

Disclosures: Szilagyi reports no relevant financial disclosures.
January 28, 2022
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In updated guidance, AAP says in-person learning should be prioritized

Source:

AAP. American Academy of Pediatrics updates interim pandemic guidance: Urges in-school learning be prioritized.” https://www.aap.org/en/news-room/news-releases/aap/2021/american-academy-of-pediatrics-updates-interim-pandemic-guidance-urges-in-school-learning-be-prioritized/. Published Jan. 28, 2021. Accessed Jan. 28, 2022.

Disclosures: Szilagyi reports no relevant financial disclosures.
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The AAP on Friday urged that school districts prioritize in-person learning in an update to their interim pandemic guidance.

“Two years into the pandemic, the American Academy of Pediatrics calls for renewed emphasis and support to keep schools open,” the AAP said in a statement announcing the updates. “In-school learning should be prioritized, with diligent adherence to safety measures such as vaccination, universal masking and physical distancing.”

Source: Adobe Stock
The AAP has suggested that schools prioritize in-school learning in updates to guidance. Source: Adobe Stock

The guidance puts the AAP in line with the CDC, which also has recommended prioritizing in-person.

In October, the AAP and other pediatric groups declared a “national emergency” over pediatric mental health.

“The AAP observes that children have suffered in numerous ways during the COVID-19 pandemic, with a dramatic rise in mental health emergencies and deepening chasm of educational and health inequities experienced in under-resourced communities,” the AAP said in the new statement.

AAP president Moira Szilagyi, MD, PhD, FAAP said in the statement that families “should not lose sight of how far we have come during the pandemic.”

“We know families are struggling and feel their frustration, especially during the latest surge in cases due to the omicron variant,” Szilagyi said. “[But] we have a vaccine that helps protect us from the virus and lessens the severity of illness for those who do get sick. We know that masks are an extremely effective layer of protection. We urge everyone to have patience and not let down their guard.”

In the updated guidance, the AAP recommended that all children aged 5 years and older receive COVID-19 vaccinations, that schools maintain universal indoor masking, that meal spaces be modified to reduce the risk for spread, and that schools prioritize testing kits for schools to distribute.

“In the absence of a test, AAP advises those showing symptoms to isolate for 5 days” — also in line with new CDC recommendations — “then return with proper and consistent use of face masks for additional 5 days,” the statement said.

Szilagyi also noted the frequent staffing shortages in areas with widespread transmission, which often lead to school closures.

“Those closures should be as brief as possible, and we encourage schools to offer virtual learning when in-person classes are not possible,” Szilagyi said.

“This is a challenging time, but we will get through it,” Szilagyi continued. “Children are resilient, especially with the support of their families, friends, and other important people in their lives. This includes their pediatrician, who cares and is here to help.”