Parents and pediatricians weigh in on kids heading back to school

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PEORIA, Ill (WMBD) — With kids going back to school soon, parents and pediatricians weigh-in on challenges returning to the classroom.

The idea of summer break coming to an end is a tough pill to swallow for many parents. Child care and parents taking up teaching at home are just a few concerns being tossed around.

With Governor J.B. Pritzker allowing school districts to make the tough decision of how kids should learn this coming fall, some parents are concerned about what lies ahead.

“I wish they would go back five days, I do,” said parent Stephanie Thunehorst. “I think they are doing the best with what the governor’s restrictions are. I know he’s leaving it up the local communities to decide. But, I had to put my kid in private school, that’s the only choice that I have.”

College student Mark Gilbert said a hybrid model won’t be enough to prevent spread of the virus.

“I understand the reasoning behind it, but I don’t know if cutting it down to two days is going to completely mitigate those risks,” said Gilbert

Pediatrician Kristine Ray said kids will thrive more in school.

“Socialization, spending time with friends, getting that constant support from the school system if you need counseling therapy, which a lot of our middle school and high school students utilize their school therapists,” said Ray.

Dr. Ray doesn’t anticipate a large spike in COVID-19 cases if everyone follows the rules.

“I’m hopeful now, most likely we aren’t going to see huge increases with back to school, as long as people follow the guidelines that we should be following,” said Ray.

The pediatrician said a hybrid school option allows more social distancing to cut down on contamination.

“Having only half of the class go one day, and half go the next day and alternating, there will be some more space in the classrooms to keep them further apart,” said Ray.

No matter which option your student faces, education this fall will look different.

“It may be that kids don’t go to P.E. class, or they only go to P.E. class if they are able to do things outdoors where there’s going to be the ability to spread out more,” said Dr. Ray.

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