The federal government’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has highlighted the physical and psychological benefits of re-opening schools for children.

“It is critically important for our public health to open schools this fall,” reported CDC Director Dr. Robert R. Redfield in a prepared statement. “School closures have disrupted normal ways of life for children and parents, and they have had negative health consequences on our youth.”

Here’s what the agency further advises, in part, on its website reopening schools:

“Parents are understandably concerned about the safety of their children at school in the wake of COVID-19. The best available evidence indicates if children become infected, they are far less likely to suffer severe symptoms. Death rates among school-aged children are much lower than among adults.

“At the same time, the harms attributed to closed schools on the social, emotional and behavioral health, economic well-being and academic achievement of children, in both the short- and long-term, are well-known and significant.

“Further, the lack of in-person educational options disproportionately harms low-income and minority children and those living with disabilities. These students are far less likely to have access to private instruction and care and far more likely to rely on key school-supported resources like food programs, special education services, counseling and after-school programs to meet basic developmental needs.

“Aside from a child’s home, no other setting has more influence on a child’s health and well-being than their school. The in-person school environment does the following:

• Provides educational instruction;

• Supports the development of social and emotional skills;

• Creates a safe environment for learning;

• Addresses nutritional needs; and

• Facilitates physical activity.

“The best available evidence from countries that have opened schools indicates that COVID-19 poses low risks to school-aged children, at least in areas with low community transmission, and suggests that children are unlikely to be major drivers of the spread of the virus. Reopening schools creates an opportunity to invest in the education, well-being, and future of one of America’s greatest assets — our children — while taking every precaution to protect students, teachers, staff and all their families.”

For more guidance on children’s health, safety and development amid the coronavirus outbreak, visit the CDC’s website at www.cdc.gov.

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