Newswise — ANN ARBOR, Mich. —  Some students are starting to return to face-to-face school after months of remote learning during the pandemic.

For many parents, big questions remain about safety, including protecting their families from exposure to the virus and how children and schools may contribute to COVID-19 transmission in communities.

Families may also face behavioral, social and emotional challenges, as children and teens readjust (again) to a new normal in their learning environments. Others may still be managing the challenges of virtual school.

Experts at Michigan Medicine C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital will answer some of families’ top questions about supporting kids through these changes during a live Q & A at noon EST on Thursday, Jan. 28.

“Returning to in-person learning is an exciting milestone for our communities, but many families may also be apprehensive about the transition,” says Jenny Radesky, M.D., developmental behavioral pediatrician at Mott who will moderate the chat.

“Parents may have questions about everything from COVID-19 exposure risks to supporting their child or teen’s emotional, social and mental health. We hope to help answer some these questions as families approach this new era of the pandemic.”

The live discussion will be held on both the @MottChildren and @MichiganMedicine Facebook pages as well as the @UMichMedicine and @MottChildren Twitter accounts and Michigan Medicine YouTube channel. 

The video of the chat will also be available on these platforms for those who would like to view it afterwards.

Attendees may ask questions live at the time of the event or add them to the event discussion area on Facebook to be considered.

Topics to be addressed include:

  • What research says about transmission and COVID-19 health risks in kids
  • Contact with at-risk family members like grandparents
  • How to know if your child should stay home from school
  • Helping kids adjust to the new school normal
  • Supporting children and teens’ emotional, social and mental health
  • Managing behavioral challenges during the transition
  • Continuing to manage virtual or hybrid learning
  • Advice for families of children with special learning needs
  • Starting sports again
  • Re-engaging children who may have been disengaged during remote learning
  • How to respond (and how not to respond) to disappointed teens who continue to miss milestones

 And more …

In addition to Radesky, the panel will also include Mott pediatric infectious disease specialist Alison Tribble, M.D., and Terry Bravender, M.D., chief of adolescent medicine at Mott.