Covid and children: a research for a safe school.

Covid and children: the Pediatric Andrology and Adolescence Foundation promotes visits and tests by carrying out research on children to return to school safely.

08 Jun 2020

How was the Pediatric Andrology and Adolescence Foundation born and what is its mission?

The Foundation, a non-profit organization, has the aim, through research and initiatives, of spreading the culture of prevention of psychophysical disorders of the adult male by intervening from childhood and adolescence. It therefore takes care of young males from 0 to 18 years and their families.

It supports the activity of the Pediatric Andrology and Adolescence Center directed by Dr. Mario Mancini, the first and only in Italy, born many years ago in San Paolo Hospital in Milan, inside the Pediatric Clinic directed by dr. Giuseppe Banderali.

The mission is to recognize early and treat growth and metabolic diseases that involve 35 to 70% of young males from 0 to 18 years of age, but which are discovered only in adults, that is, very late.

Other purposes include the promotion of the well-being of the couple with communication campaigns aimed at families.

The promotion of andrological screening events in lower and upper secondary schools with education in the correct lifestyle.

Carrying out research on the physical development of the male to reduce infertility, sexual disorders, genital infections, obesity and diabetes, puberty delays, complications of genetic diseases.

The development of research in neuroscience to identify the relationships between hormones and the male brain to reduce the incidence of maturation delays, feminicides, bullying, school dropouts, generational clashes, loss of male self-esteem.

Finally, support scholarships that work in the field of andrological sciences.

Safe School project is part of a wider network of initiatives that the Foundation carries out, what link do you see today between health and education, especially at a time like this?

The Foundation has activated numerous projects aimed at spreading the concept of prevention in male children and adolescents who do not do prevention. The Foundation, in collaboration with the Pediatric Andrology and Adolescence unit of the San Paolo Hospital in Milan, is following prevention projects in schools, recovery of subjects with overweight and obesity problems, early diagnosis of diseases such as varicocele and testicles believed to be responsible for infertility, control of male genetic diseases such as Klinefelter syndrome. Where endocrinologists andrologists are present, in schools, consultants, hospitals, sports centers, they spread the culture of male prevention to ensure healthier growth for the male, aware of the importance of the genital system, balanced development and a pleasant relationship. of couple.

A healthy young male promotes the birth of a healthy couple, attentive to health, proper nutrition, movement. Prevention is a concept of couple and family and supports its serenity and stability. A young male who is not attentive to his body will be a less attentive husband and father. Infection prevention is one of the cornerstones of prevention. It is important to know how to stay close, how to caress each other, how to kiss, how to live with family and couples always thinking about the health of those around us. Risking your own health means putting your physical and mental cases at risk. A child who gets sick is a great stress for the parent.

Today we invest little in prevention and a lot in disease treatment. We must start from prevention and that of the young male is almost absent in the healthcare landscape

How did you deal with the lockdown period, did you have any small patients affected by the virus?

Pediatric areas dedicated to the care of children and adolescents have been hardly affected by the epidemic. Few severe cases have been hospitalized, many have been under observation with few symptoms. The most demanding cases have left serious psychological consequences in the family and in the psychology of the young man forced to quarantine or even to very invasive treatments. The fear of going out has undermined the joy of young people to be together. All this following the suspicion that the young man is a greaser, often unaware of being sick, who wanders around in groups without protection. However, no research supports this hypothesis with certainty

Why did you decide to launch an online fundraiser and why is it important to support it?

Children of all ages seem vulnerable to infection, but serious manifestations have occurred only in 6% of them. 94% of young people up to the age of 18 who manifested the infection had few symptoms, similar to a common respiratory disease. The percentage of adults with severe symptoms was 3 times higher.

It is now certain that the behavior of the virus has been different in adults and young people.

These data generated two hypotheses: the first that many children contracted the disease with few ailments but were a source of contagion for their family members who also fell seriously ill; the second that children are more refractory to infection and only the weakest have been affected by the virus brought into the home by adults.

Some data point to the second hypothesis, namely that few children have been infected and that young people have not transmitted the disease. This can be verified by measuring antibodies in a group of children and adolescents from families with sick adults. Anti-COVID19 antibodies are found in over 90% of sick adults. How many children who lived with sick parents really got sick and developed antibodies?

Finding out if young people have been refractory to the virus would allow schools to reopen with serenity and reduce the risks that a blockage of socialization and movement represent for balanced psycho-physical growth.

An online campaign paradoxically represents a unique opportunity, in a moment of isolation, to cancel isolation and return to a social life.

The fundraiser will be used to purchase the serological tests useful at a time when resources have been massively spent on the assistance of seriously ill patients and the protection of staff.

The campaign will be the most important work for our future: relapse prevention.

With it we can finally raise awareness among young people to lead a healthier life.

A recommendation to parents who fear for the health of their children right now.

As few children have been reported to become seriously ill. Yet many may become insecure or hypochondriac. It is important to blur the concept that simple contact is a source of infection for a young and healthy subject. Every day we come into contact with millions of viruses and bacteria and we do not get sick because the immune system defends us. Living in a plastic ampoule protected from the outside will not make us healthier but on the contrary more vulnerable and will reduce the capacity of the immune system. Both spacing and protection and hygiene measures are important for people with symptoms so that they do not transmit an infection. This has always existed in the history of infectious disease. It is not necessary for all healthy subjects to sterilize themselves. The concept of remaining isolated because even those who are healthy are a source of contagion is a mistake that goes against science. During the pandemic, however, it was necessary to protect us from a little known virus. Now, the fear that the streets are full of healthy carriers of infection must be quickly dismissed. This will only be possible with an antibody study that will demonstrate how many actually came into contact with the virus. This information will be even more useful in young people who are inclined to get together and live in a group. Only those with a type of antibody that denotes a recent disease can be better investigated. It is our hope and belief that few young people have developed antibodies. In this case they will be able to return to gather and occupy the free and serene school desks again, taking back their social life and the families will be able to resume a balanced life, sure not to welcome a greaser into the house.

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