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KABC: Back-to-School Safety—What Parents Need to Know and Do as Students Return to Classrooms

KABC reporter Denise Dador recently spoke with Priya Soni, MD, a pediatric infectious disease specialist at Cedars-Sinai, about how parents can help children safely navigate their way back to school.

Returning to school in the fall is always stressful for kids and parents. But this year it's particularly fraught as the contagious delta variant drives an increase in cases of COVID-19. So how can parents help their children ease back into in-person learning after more than a year of virtual classes?

"School is very important for these kids and we don't want to, by any means, keep them out of school any longer," Soni told Dador.

But Soni cautioned that respiratory syncytial virus (RSV)—a common virus with cold-like symptoms—could throw a wrench in the school year with so many kids gathering together once more. Because RSV and COVID-19 have similar symptoms—including coughing, fatigue and fever—anyone who experiences these common symptoms may have to assume it's COVID-19 and isolate at home unless testing is performed.

"The 'twin-demic' that we were worried about with flu and COVID, now we're starting to think now it might be RSV and COVID," Soni told Dador.

Because kids can easily spread RSV, it's important to take precautions. Children 12 and older should get vaccinated, and students of all ages should be prepared to wear masks, Soni said. Children also should avoid traveling and quarantine for seven to 10 days before school starts. It's important to avoid any illnesses from other areas.

"You want to give your child and your family the best start," Soni told Dador.

Click here to view the complete segment from KABC.