How to Keep Your Kids Safe in School ?
As the high tide of COVID-19 infections has seemingly ebbed, many schools and universities across the US have decided to reopen their doors with necessary precautions. Sending your kids back to school may sound daunting, but many experts have warned that continuing online education indefinitely may prove more harmful for children than good. So don’t fret, here’s some simple tips to keep your kids safe at school:
- Practice Physical Distancing: Based on the latest CDC guidelines, younger school children are recommended to stay 3 feet apart, while high schoolers and college students are recommended to keep the standard 6 feet distance. This is due to the higher detected rates of COVID-19 among older students. Communal gatherings like staff lounges should be avoided, and teachers should maintain physical distance from their pupils.
- Face Masks: Masks have played an integral role in keeping people safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. So undeniably, it would be prudent to urge our young ones to continue the same during school hours. Masks are designed to keep those surrounding the wearer safe from infection. Hence, it is advised that all children above the age of 2 years should wear well-fitted masks over the nose and mouth while on school premises. Parents and teachers should also set an example to their kids by wearing masks as well.
- Personal Hygiene: Hand-washing, sanitizing, and other basic practices of personal hygiene are crucial to halting the spread of the coronavirus. Teachers should ensure that kids are made to regularly wash their hands and avoid unnecessary touching surfaces. Rooms should be routinely disinfected with proper equipment
- Testing and Temperature Checks: Whether or not your child’s school regularly checks temperature or blood oxygen concentration levels, you as a parent can test your kid before and after school hours to be extra sure. Though the CDC’s guidelines do recommend teachers and staff be scanned once a week, it is not compulsory for students to be tested. Hence, it is recommended that parents test their kids on a regular basis.
- Immunization: Parents need to keep their children up to date on their vaccines. It is especially important that students receive all their shots on time, as it reduces the risk of serious infections. In particular, getting your kids inoculated against the flu would greatly mitigate the risk of illness.
- Emotional Support: COVID-19 has impacted our society not just physically but in terms of mental health as well. It’s safe to say that being a child of the pandemic can’t be very easy. Students are losing out on a vital part of their childhood. Physical interaction, classroom learning, and communal events have all been limited during this time, leaving both kids and parents incredibly vulnerable to mental health issues like anxiety and depression. In addition to this, many kids may have experienced the sudden loss of a family member, friend, neighbor, or teacher, which can cause severe distress. Tending to the emotional needs of a child is just as important as keeping them physically safe from the virus. Hence, both parents and teachers need to be mindful of a child’s mental health when schools reopen.
School during the pandemic may not feel even close to normal for a long long time. But be it online or in-person, it takes a village to raise a child. Students, parents, staff, and teachers all need to do their part to make sure schools are safe and engaging again.