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Pediatrician answers questions and concerns about COVID-19 and heading back to the classroom

What are pediatricians concerned about? How can you get a kid used to wearing a mask again? Pediatrician Dr. Cathy Cantor weighs in ahead of the return to class.

PERRYSBURG, Ohio — Since it's the back-to-school season, we want to make sure you have your biggest questions answered about COVID-19 and the classroom.

With mask requirements being updated on a daily basis, questions about if or when a vaccine will be approved, and local COVID-19 numbers on the rise, we spoke with pediatrician and Mercy Health Chief Medical Officer Dr. Cathy Cantor to see what we need to know before kids ever walk back through the school doors.

Question one: What is your top concern about COVID-19 as we head into the school year?

"Watching across the country and it's changing daily, is making sure we put those safeguards in place. So it's masking up, making sure we're washing down surfaces, social distancing, those types of things," Cantor said.

Question two: Are you concerned about kids under 12 being unvaccinated heading back to school?

"Initially we really did have concern about that, but surprisingly last year we didn't see any outbreaks in schools, when we're seeing large gatherings elsewhere. And I think that's really a hats off to the school districts," Cantor said.

Question three: How can I help my kid get used to wearing a mask in class again?

"Perhaps as we're heading into our first day of school, maybe just try to do some trial runs throughout the day of putting the mask on for shorter periods of time, just so they can get used to it, rather than start having to do the 8-hour day with the mask," Cantor said.

Cantor is also keeping an eye on the research for vaccine approval for kids under 12.

At this point, she expects to hear something from the first studies coming up in September.