No hugs, handshakes, or food sharing: Parents encouraged to prepare students for new normal going back to school in Louisiana

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LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) Where’s the benefit in schools reopening during a pandemic?

National health experts say a sense of normalcy for students makes a world of difference.

Pediatrician Dr. Lauren Bailey of Lourdes Physician Group of Our Lady of Lourdes Regional Medical Center says there’s a benefit in a student having a set schedule.

“I’ve been seeing a lot of kids who are a little more depressed and anxious.  We’ve been seeing a lot more complaints of things like that,” Dr. Bailey said.

Also, social development is key to students hitting their growth milestones.

Dr. Bailey says being with peers helps students rise to where they need to be socially.

“They’re going to start learning socially the different aspects of being a normal person.  I think with these kids missing all this school; they’re missing that big part,” Dr. Bailey explained.

Bailey has a child in daycare who is learning healthy habits.

“She practices sneezing and covering her mouth.  We’re learning to wash our hands. All the good normal things I think we should have been doing,” she added.

Dr. Bailey says there will be challenges.

“A 6-year-old is not going to understand they’re not able to go to their best friend and hug them.  Where as an older kid is going to understand.  A high school student, we’re probably not going to be able to prevent them from kissing their boyfriend.  They are all going to share drinks.  I think it’s time to just starting to have that conversation with kids.”

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