The Canadian Paediatric Society is calling for the Ontario government to immediately reopen our school systems for in-person learning.
Referring to the current situation as “a crisis in children’s mental health”, the open letter signed by SickKids Hospital, McMaster Children’s Hospital, Children First Canada, and others, stressed the harms of continuing to confine children to their homes.
“The impact of school closures and the resulting social isolation on the health and well-being of children and youth has become impossible to ignore,” the letter says, pointing out “a dramatic increase in utilization of acute mental health services.”
Routine and structure, accountability, socialization, and recognition of abuse and neglect are outlined as essential reasons as to why the society feels it necessary to immediately reopen the schools.
The letter also states that the reopening of schools would have a negligible effect on Ontario’s healthcare system, as hospitalization rates have decreased in the province by over 50% and over 50% of adults being partially vaccinated.
The open letter, released on social media on Thursday, was addressed to Premier Doug Ford, Education Minister Stephen Lecce, Chief Medical Officer of Health for the province of Ontario Dr. David Williams, and Health Minister Christine Elliott.