Latest News & Events
Mask Wearing Toolkit
Wearing a mask is important and will help us stop the spread of COVID-19. As you start to go out into the community more often, you may worry about your child’s safety and ability to wear a mask, especially as we prepare for “back to school.”
The Strong Center for Developmental Disabilities at URMC has created a toolkit for helping your child wear a mask. If you are interested, please click the link below.
Let Me M-Ask You A Question…
We are receiving many phone calls and portal messages regarding mask requirements/exemptions for children in school.
As noted in guidance from the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and state and local health departments, cloth face masks are an important tool in preventing the spread of COVID-19. When feasible, and especially in situations where physical distancing cannot be maintained, school-aged children should wear face masks in compliance with school and/or local government requirements.
Isn’t My Child Too Young To Wear A Mask All Day?
No. Kids are more adaptable to change than adults! This is their “new norm” and they are more likely to adapt to more consistent face mask use if modeled by adults and peers. Younger children may have more difficulty than older children with keeping a mask on for extended periods of time and/or avoiding frequent touching of the mask. Schools may choose to use a variety of strategies to provide “mask breaks” while optimizing physical distancing.
Developmentally appropriate adaptation to wearing a face mask does NOT justify provision of a medical exemption for the use of a mask.
Speaking of Medical Exemptions For Masks…
From a physiologic standpoint, we are unaware of any cardiac or respiratory medical conditions that would prohibit a student from wearing a cloth face mask at school. This means that a diagnosis of asthma is NOT a reason for a medical exemption. In reality, any child with any underlying cardiac or respiratory condition needs to be wearing their mask as much as possible to keep them healthy!
As noted in AAP and CDC guidance, the only time a child should not wear a face mask is if they are unable to remove the mask independently. In limited circumstances, there may exist a physical or intellectual condition that would justify a medical exemption for wearing a mask in school, based on this rationale. These may include children with severe autism spectrum disorder, intellectual disability, or other cognitive developmental delays.
Mask exemptions are going to be determined by the NYS Department of Health, and our office will be abiding by their parameters. This information is still not readily available to us, so please continue to check the website for the most up to date information.
Bottom line: Mask exemptions are going to be few and far between.
If You Have a Question, The Portal Is Your Best Choice!
We understand that there are a lot of unanswered questions right now and we are doing our best to provide answers. Please consider sending any non-urgent questions to the Patient Portal to help decrease the number of phone calls we are receiving.
If you do not have the Patient Portal set up, please call our office and we’d be happy to walk you through the steps! This is the most efficient way to receive a timely response.
New Online Course for Caregivers
There is a new online course for caregivers to help with the transition to solid foods. This course is taught by Speech/Language Pathologists. Here is some information from their website www.helpwithfeeding.com:
“Introduction to Solids
Learn how to introduce solids to your baby and lay the foundation for life-long healthy eating habits. This class will provide an outline of the various approaches to introducing solids, important skills needed for feeding as well as related developmental milestones, and theories on managing mealtimes in the first two years of life and beyond. In this 90-minute class, you will learn how to create positive mealtimes, support the development of oral motor coordination, sensory processing and self-feeding skills, and manage some of the common challenges during this transition. This class is appropriate for expectant parents and parents of infants who will soon start or already have begun the transition to solids. Infants in arms are welcome.”
If you are interested, there is a discount code for all Genesis Pediatric families: ROCPEDS20 for an additional 20% off the course price!
Return to School During COVID-19
What Is Our Opinion?
A big question parents have right now is how students can go back to school safely during COVID-19. You may be seeking an opinion from your provider here at Genesis Pediatrics regarding whether or not you should send your child(ren) back to in classroom learning. The advice from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) states that children learn best when they are in school, however returning to in-classroom learning will require careful steps to keep students and faculty safe.
Based on current recommendations from the CDC and NYS Health Department, Genesis Pediatrics is comfortable with children returning to school at this time if parents choose. This decision takes into account the close monitoring of the current spread of COVID-19 in our community.
If your child has a high risk medical condition which prompts further discussion about this decision, please sign up for the Patient Portal so you can send us a message. Due to the volume of questions we have been receiving about this topic, we ask for your patience with response time.
Why Students Should Go Back to School–Safely
Schools provide more than just academics. Classroom learning provides not only reading, writing and math, but children also learn social and emotional skills that cannot be provided with virtual learning. For many families, school is where kids get healthy meals, access to the internet, and other important school-based services such as occupational, physical and speech-language therapy and mental health support counseling.
The AAP guidance is based on the evidence that so far suggests that children and adolescents are less likely to have symptoms or severe illness from COVID infection.
Many parents are also calling and requesting exemptions for children wearing a mask for in-school learning. These exemptions are going to be determined by the NYS Department of Health, and our office will be abiding by their parameters. This information is still not readily available to us, so please continue to check the website for the most up to date information.