GA pediatric doctor encourages parents to treat new school year differently

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) – Local doctors are encouraging you to treat the school year a bit differently with your children.

Doctors say pediatric cases of COVID-19 are on the rise in proportion to the adult cases we’re seeing in our community, but they say that could change as we see students head back to school.

“I think it would be a little bit naive honestly to think that when we put groups of children into the schools that we won’t see a rise in the number of cases, but how we manage that you know, how we create a safe school environment and how we take care of those people outside of the schools,” said Dr. Stephen Thacker, Pediatric Infectious Disease Doctor. “So what do you do when you leave the school as a family as a teacher as a worker is really going to drive what that experience looks like in our county and our state.”

Dr. Thacker says it’s important schools really look at the recommendations from the CDC, Department of Education and Georgia Department of Public Health. He believes schools should think hard about masking strategies and how students move within buildings.

He knows these are big topics and can pose challenges to districts but thinks we all need to help.

“Just modeling that conversation about why it’s important to have the mask on. It’s about protecting others and answering questions for your children if they have them because they do. If you haven’t asked they have questions about the masks, they have questions about why they can’t go to birthday parties the same way they used too and we need to answer them. And we probably need to be proactive about answering it and make it a conversation that happens frequently and often.”

As students head back to school, Dr. Thacker believes what will help kids is to see the example of adults following the same guidelines such as wearing a mask, washing their hands and more.

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