EL PASO, Texas (KFOX14) — The chair of the psychiatry program at Texas Tech Physicians of El Paso says online learning is creating serious impacts for teenagers who have to sit in front of a screen all day.
Health experts were joined by a teacher and student from El Paso High School for a panel hosted by TTP El Paso on students returning to the classroom.
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While the panel covered a variety of more specific topics, one that stood out came from the chair of the psychiatry program who said online learning is creating internal issues for many students.
“Zoom dysmorphia,” Dr. Sarah Martin, chair of the Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Fellowship Program at TTP El Paso said. “We are hearing it mostly from school counselors and teachers.”
Martin said the most important thing you can do right now if your student is still learning from home is checking in on how they’re feeling daily and also checking to see if they’re more irritable.
“But when they have their cameras on all day at school the pressure of having everybody look at them and having to look at themself all day is causing stress. So, a lot of kids are, it’s to the point of harming themselves,” Martin said.
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Michael Reese, a teacher at El Paso High School, touched on the importance of vaccinating teachers during TTP El Paso’s panel.
Reese said parents should still feel safe allowing their kids in the classroom, but things can’t get back to normal until a COVID-19 vaccine is available for teachers.
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According to Dr. Glenn Fennelly, chair of pediatrics for Texas Tech Physicians of El Paso, a recent survey showed 1 in 3 parents said they will not vaccinate their children against COVID-19.
“For us to get to the 70 to 90 percent rate of immunity we need for herd immunity we absolutely have to get children immunized,” Fennelly said.
Fennelly said he wants parents to trust the experts and know the vaccine will not be approved for children until it is proven to be safe.
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