Corona balance sheet: why doctors are also calling for protection of children from infection and more workers in day care centers and schools

Bremen. The 126th German Doctors’ Day focused on the effects of the Corona pandemic on the youngest in society. Especially children and young people suffer, as the doctors found out in their daily work. Which is why their well-being should be at the center of the fight against the pandemic. However, what medical representatives understand from this is more differentiated than what senior officials sometimes say publicly. Day care and school closures are unacceptable, but at the same time preventive measures are being taken.

The German Medical Association deals extensively with nurseries and schools. Photo: shutterstock

“Today we know the tremendous damage done by the closure of schools and nurseries, and the month-long isolation due to contact restrictions on children and young people,” said Chief Medical Officer Klaus Reinhardt. He cited concerns about the future, increased pressure on performance and loneliness. The Prime Ministers’ Conference on June 2 should set a path for the safe operation of schools and day care centers.

“Day care centers and schools should be understood as places for social learning and meeting”

However, anyone who reads the Doctors Day Resolution will find a more differentiated position than that represented by Reinhart, who in the past has repeatedly argued against preventative measures in schools – particularly the obligation to wear masks (“mask requirements”). The newspaper says: Looking back, we can see that the measures to protect against the Corona virus for children and young people served primarily to protect the older generation and some vulnerable groups. “In the future, the national closure of day care centers and schools due to the pandemic should be avoided, and can only be considered in severe crisis situations. The understanding of nurseries and schools as places for social learning and encounters should be taken into account.”

However, at the same time, the doctors also stress: “The hygiene and protection measures for the premises of the education and training system must be maintained to the extent necessary even after the pandemic and further developed to meet future challenges.”

Studies have now shown that COVID-19 in children and adolescents who have no previous related illnesses caused by SARS-CoV-2 infection is often mild. However, the primary burden of COVID-19 disease, albeit to a lesser degree than in other age groups, is also significant for younger age groups. In addition to severe COVID-19, severe generalized disease with severe inflammatory reaction (PIMS) has been observed in rare cases, with some patients requiring intensive care treatment. Attention should be paid to other potentially serious comorbidities or secondary diseases that will appear only as the epidemic progresses and may affect particularly the group of children and adolescents.”

This is why clinicians demand: “Therefore the growing generation must also be protected from infection in the future. In addition to adapting and further developing protective and hygiene measures, there is an urgent need for need-based adjustment of provisioning costs in the pediatric and adolescent inpatient field. Scientific analyzes of complications and malformations are not yet complete. that children and adolescents are suffering due to the pandemic. Research must be further strengthened and funded in a sustainable and adequate manner.”

The psychological stress experienced by many children and young people, which arose from protective measures, but also from the direct consequences of the epidemic, is underlined. “We have had a shortage of face-to-face classes for months, homeschooling, reduction or banning of sports and leisure activities and the resulting excessive consumption of media, changes in diet and exercise behaviour, and dealing with death and illness of relatives, but also job loss and existential concerns on the part of Parents and have a strong negative impact on adolescent development Studies already show a significant increase in mental health problems and diseases in this age group (see COPSY study) These include fears and symptoms of depression and even suicide, eating disorders, addiction problems, deficiencies and various developmental delays (language, cognitive and physical) .”

Children from socially disadvantaged families tend to be the most affected. “The burdens on children and young people arising from this common complex are more or less pronounced depending on their socio-economic status and can increase social inequalities. The deficiencies that already existed before the pandemic have been intensified, particularly in relation to protection against violence (maltreatment). children, neglect, domestic violence), the fight against child poverty and the access of all children to education, during the period of the epidemic and various problems the areas became clearly visible.

Better human and financial resources for education and Recreational facilities for children and youth are required

“Day care centers and schools, which have always also served as important centers for the early detection of social concerns of children and young people, are no longer available during the closure measures. In addition to the factors mentioned, dealing with illness, death and existential fears at an early age can also lead to emotional insecurity. For the stated reasons, the scope of counseling and psychotherapy for children and adolescents should also be significantly expanded with the participation of parents and legal guardians, taking into account regional conditions.

The Doctors’ Day request should be derived from this: “The complex consequences must also be absorbed by a similarly complex package of measures at the federal, state and municipal levels, including medical expertise, fully and sustainably funded by the state. From the point of view of the medical profession, it is necessary It is also urgent for policy officials to place special emphasis on children and youth from socially disadvantaged families in order to mitigate undesirable social developments and increase social inequalities.”

From the point of view of the medical profession, this means specifically for nurseries and schools: “Better human and financial resources for education and Recreational facilities for children and youth are required. private schools in Hotspot regions need strong and well-qualified workforce and Unfavorable resources due to socio-economic conditions Balance.”

Hot: Doctors can’t resist digging into the permanent vaccination committee. With regard to children and young people, they expressly affirm in their decision: “Strengthen the staff and finances of the Standing Immunization Committee (Stiko) in order to ensure that the current state of medical knowledge is addressed in a timely manner, adapted and further developed. The nationwide vaccination strategy for Germany is accordingly addressed.” Background: Stiko hesitated for a long time before issuing general vaccination recommendations for children and young adults. For elementary school students, this just happened last week. The result: So far, the majority of school children in Germany have not been fully vaccinated. News4teachers / Articles from dpa

The full transcript of the decision can be found here.

Psychologists and clinicians sound the alarm: Teaching face to face at all costs is a heavy burden for children


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