Back to school again! This year most schools across the US are trading in virtual learning for traditional in-person learning. With a brief decline in the coronavirus and the increase of new variants arriving daily, countries around the world are doing their best to stop the spread while returning to normal. We want students returning to school to remain safe with these five back-to-school safety tips.
Some children have already returned to school in the South and Southwest regions, and reports by Wall Street Journal show that Covid-19 cases are growing. These outbreaks have surfaced just a few days into the Fall semester for some, leading some schools to shut down their buildings and send students home to quarantine. Some school administrators are changing the course completely and returning to a virtual learning option for students.
This is not the case for many schools around the country. Most parents were relieved to have their children returning safely to school this year, so they could take off the teacher hat and focus solely on their jobs to provide for them. If that is your circumstance as a parent, these safety tips will be beneficial for you and your children’s wellbeing.
Here are 5 back-to-school tips as students return during the Covid-19 pandemic:
Schedule Your Child’s COVID-19 Vaccination
Earlier this year, the FDA approved for the use of the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine in adolescents between the ages of 12 and 15. It was initially only approved for teens 16 and older. With the expansive range for the vaccine, it has changed the course on limiting the spread of the virus.
Consider scheduling your child’s vaccine if they fall between the appropriate age range.
Being fully vaccinated is surely one of the greatest preventions in stopping the spread of the virus and keeping you and your loved ones safe.
Practice Everyday Precautions
When preparing to send your children back to school, remember to reinforce everyday Covid-19 precautions that were implemented early on in the pandemic.
Be sure to continue social distancing. One of the most important safety measures even if your child is vaccinated. While vaccines provide strong protection from severe illness, no vaccine is 100% perfect at preventing infection. As we learned, an infected individual can be asymptomatic but also very contagious.
Many schools are enforcing a mask mandate throughout the day, but continue to remind your children of the importance of keeping their masks above their noses. Wearing a mask helps contain any potentially infectious respiratory droplets that may be released while breathing, talking or coughing.
At the very least, ask that your children wash their hands often to help limit the risk of getting sick after touching contaminated surfaces. This bacteria can easily spread to your eyes, nose or mouth if children touch their faces.
The Delta variant spreads much easier than the versions of the virus we’ve witnessed previously. We must reinforce these practices to prevent any more outbreaks.
Learn What Safety Measures Are Being Implemented
Large gatherings anywhere are dangerous and come with risks no matter how closely we may follow precautions. Studies show that children learn best when in a classroom, so the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) decided to publish specific guidelines to help keep schools as safe as possible during the impending pandemic and as students return to in-person learning.
Learn your child’s school’s safety measures. Be sure the school is adhering to the recommendations set by public health officials. Though schools should be sending out the safety measures and guidelines for the school year, as a parent or student, make sure you have these questions answered:
- Have teachers and staff been vaccinated?
- What changes have been made to classrooms, hallways, cafeterias and buses to ensure social distancing?
- Will hand-washing opportunities be frequent and hand sanitizer readily available?
- Have cleaning services been increased and how often will high-touch surfaces be disinfected?
- Are students and staff who feel sick required to stay at home?
- What is the plan if someone at the school tests positive for COVID-19?
- What are you doing about sports and other activities?
Check In With Your Child’s Well-Being
With so much uncertainty in the world, it is important to check in with your child. Are they experiencing any concerns or anxiety upon returning to school during the pandemic? Try to be available and prepared to make your child feel comfortable.
Some questions may arise about wearing the masks throughout the day or if an outbreak occurs at school, be sure to. listen, empathize and reassure your child during these times.
Schedule An Annual Wellness Exam For You and Your Child
This is not new news. Be sure to check you and your child’s overall health and wellness.
Coronavirus attacks the respiratory system, and easily eats away at an unhealthy immune system. If you’re performing regular checkups with your family doctor, you can stay one step ahead to ensure everyone is in great shape to fight off unwanted bacteria.
Go get checked!
We wish those returning to school a safe and healthy transition back! Follow these five easy tips and we will fight this together.