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As schools prepare to reopen medical experts weigh in

Pediatricians say the best thing you can do to help your kids through the stressful time is listen

ST. LOUIS — Health experts say the biggest challenge schools will face is not knowing the severity of this virus when school begins and there are a lot of factors to consider depending on the size of schools and the number of students.

One issue will be figuring how to get students to and from school safely.

Since bus companies throughout Illinois and Missouri are short on drivers social distancing could be an issue. Another is making sure younger kids are able to socially distance safely if their school opts for in-person learning.

Health care experts say the biggest challenge will be keeping up with COVID-19 because information seems to change so fluidly.

"After these many weeks I don't know that we can be surprised anymore with what happens. I would love to see our kids back in school. I would love to see them with interactive learning and and social learning, but doing that in a really mindful way is going to be critical to how we move forward," said SSM Cardinal Glennon Interim Chief Medical Officer Dr. Marya Strand.

Strand says the biggest thing parents and students can do is stay flexible in this stressful time. 

"As parents I think it's really critical that we make time to listen to our kids because they're under the same kinds of stress and same amounts of stress," added Dr. Strand.

Dr. Rachel Orscheln who has been working closely with area schools says a big part of bringing kids back to school safely will be screening all students for symptoms.

"And that doesn't necessarily mean testing that's just screening? asked 5 On Your Side's Brandon Merano. 

"Right and that doesn't mean that every student that has a symptom will need a test but we do want to make sure that children with a certain constelation of symptoms do get a test or are at least evaluated by their primary care doctor before coming back to school," answered Dr. Orscheln.

As we've seen in the past all plans are subject to change. 

"I don't know that anyone can predict very reliably and I think it all depends on how we as a community respond to this challenge,"


RELATED: St. Louis County school districts release reopening plans

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