Much of the country is back to school in person this fall, despite the pandemic, which continues to linger. While some schools are back in person 5 days a week, others are using a hybrid method where kids learn from home some days and go to school in person the other days.
Whatever the schedule looks like for your child, if they are going to school in person, there are certain steps you should take to improve school safety to keep your child and family COVID free.
Read on for 5 tips to keep the virus at bay this fall.
1. Wear a Mask
While many school districts do not require students to wear a mask, as a parent, you can make the decision to require your child to wear a mask to protect themselves and others around them. The mask should fully cover their mouth and nose, fit properly, and shouldn’t have a valve or other mechanism for air or germs to escape the mask. Neck gaiters or buffs shouldn’t be worn either, as some research shows that they may actually spread the virus more than prevent it.
Make sure you understand what your school or district is requiring of teachers and administrators. Are they wearing masks?
2. Provide Sanitizing Wipes
There have been many stories about schools not providing an adequate amount of disinfecting supplies, so send your child with their own. You can find small packages of these wipes to toss in their backpack. They can use these to clean their desk surface, chair, and lunch table if they are eating in a cafeteria. Consider sending some wipes to your child’s teacher, as well, if you are able to find them in your area.
You can also send them with COVID-19 tools like a touch tool to help open doors, hit elevator buttons, etc.
3. Teach Them to Wash Their Hands
Kids need to know how to properly wash their hands. Teach them to use soap and water, wash for at least 20 seconds, and make sure that all parts of their hands, fingers, and nails are washed.
Send in hand sanitizer with your child for when hand washing isn’t readily available. A small bottle of hand sanitizer can be attached to the outside of the backpack for convenience.
4. Have Them Change as Soon as They Get Home
When your kids get home from school, have them leave their shoes outside or in a garage, and take off their school clothes right away. Put them in the wash on hot water immediately. If you can, dry them as well.
The heat will kill any virus droplets on their clothing. Invest in washable backpacks as well and as often as you can.
5. Keep Children Home if They Are Sick
If your child is feeling under the weather, keep them home. Because there are so many different symptoms of COVID-19, it’s impossible to know if their symptoms are the flu, the common cold, or COVID, without getting a test. If they are sick at all, keep them home and consult with your doctor on what to do.
School Safety Starts with Parents
School safety shouldn’t just be left up to school administrators and teachers. Parents should also take measures to keep their children safe in the classroom. Many of the precautions that adults are taking to return to the office should be adopted in the classroom as well.
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