23 April 2020 15: 50
Updated at 20h49
The pediatricians of Quebec in favour of a déconfinement progressive children
The Canadian Press
MONTREAL — After weeks of confinement due to the COVID-19, a gradual return to real life for children is not only desirable, it is necessary, a judge with the Association of pediatricians of Quebec.
The measures of social isolation were the right thing to do to limit the spread of the virus and protect the population, said in an interview the pediatrician Marie-Claude Roy, who works at the CHUS ? Hospital Fleurimont in Sherbrooke.
But for children, it is time to move on to another step, because the disadvantages begin to outweigh the benefits, she argues in the interview. There are some who really suffer, ” she said.
While the prime minister François Legault began during his daily press briefings to set the table for a reopening phase in québec schools, the Association of pediatricians has taken a position on Thursday in favour of such a decision, considering the evolution of the situation.
She reminds us that the scientific community agrees on one point: COVID-19 is not dangerous for the vast majority of children.
In Quebec, “the children in the hospital, it is the unity,” stressed the pediatrician.
Children without a safety net
The doctors are members of this association note that since the closure of the schools and to CPE march 13, last, the children have been deprived of their social safety net, as usual.
“It is clear that the collateral damage of a continued confinement are already too numerous and disturbing”, they write.
They draw in particular on the following findings: weakened financially by the health crisis, many families are struggling to feed their children. In Quebec, more than 240 000 children benefited every day of breakfasts offered in schools.
Reports to the DYP are in decline, what the pediatricians are not reassuring. Because they are at risk: the imprisonment imposed, 24 hours on 24, with parents with no job and no income, can only increase the risk of domestic violence.
The follow-up of young children is delayed as well as the vaccination, which exposes them to diseases normally under control. In addition, many children with developmental delays (suspected or not by their parents) are often detected in the CPE or at a medical appointment, which cannot take place currently, they argue. It is necessary to act before this window of opportunity closes, because the consequences are sometimes irreversible.
The Association also raises the issue of mental health, undermined by the lack of contact and anxiety in young people’s lives.
If it is expected that still more, until at the start of September, the collateral damage will be even more important. What is tolerates six weeks does not tolerate three or four months, said Dr. Roy: “we can’t keep our children confined until 2021!”.
Knowing that the new coronavirus will be part of our lives for a long time, sooner or later, it will be necessary that children are exposed to, said the Association.
And if they return to the school only in September, they will face the new coronavirus, in the same time as the other virus in the autumn and the seasonal flu in the winter.
In the Face of all these facts, “the option to further postpone the resumption of the life of the school is defending itself is difficult,” write the pediatricians.
The déconfinement must be done in a gradual and prudent way, has repeated Dr. Roy, and not forgetting the older employees of daycares and schools who are most vulnerable, as well as close relatives at higher risk of these children, like their grandparents.
Dr. Roy knows that parents are worried by thinking about the return to school. She understands their fears, since they are bombarded with images of catastrophic, from Italy, for example.
But she wished to reassure them: “children will not be guinea pigs. They compete well this virus-there”.
In addition, physicians and pediatricians in Quebec will be there to receive, care for and reassure the families, ensures the Association.
The Association does not suggest a date that is optimal for the déconfinement, because in this regard, she relies on public Health, ” says Dr. Roy. “You trust in him.”