Richland Center mom says she doesn’t want her kids being “fearful” of COVID this school year

(WKBT) – As kids head back to school, there is one constant — serving them reminders of what’s important.

This is the second year in a row COVID is having an impact at the start of the school year.

Every school in our area has its own set of rules of when to wear or not wear a mask.

But one Richland Center mom says she doesn’t want COVID to dominate the conversations she has with her kids.

“They are still aware that it’s there,” mother of seven Alisa Weiss said.

Weiss says mask-wearing should be a choice.

That’s the current policy at her kids’ school.

“I think it’s a good way to start,” Weiss said.

Weiss says her kids take care of themselves, and understands there’s still a virus out there.

“But I don’t want them afraid,” Weiss said. “I don’t want them to stay at home and be fearful. They just need to be kids.”

Mayo Clinic Health System pediatrician Dr. Joseph Poterucha says parents should take COVID seriously.

More than 10,000 students in Hillsborough County, Florida have had to quarantine over the last week.

“In the South, the pandemic in the second wave with the Delta variant is really raging,” Poterucha said.

With Pfizer’s vaccine fully approved for those 16 and older, Poterucha also thinks more parents will give their children the go-ahead to get vaccinated.

“I’ve heard a lot of parents tell me they’re waiting for the safety data, they’re waiting really for the FDA to approve that,” he said.

“I’m fine with whoever chooses and whoever does not choose it,” Weiss said. “I really want it to be a personal decision for everyone.”

These discussions, Poterucha says, come down to parent responsibility.

“They look to you for direction,” he said.

Weiss’ advice to her kids? Be safe and have fun.

“I think we feel done not seeing people,” Weiss said.

Poterucha also says if your kids need more advice, it’s a good idea for them to talk to their pediatrician.

The School District of La Crosse is the only district in the county that is requiring masks indoors for all students.

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