Back to School: How to Protect Your Kids

Schools are pushing ahead with in-person classes while other schools and universities still opting for remote learning or a hybrid of in-person and online sessions. Although schools will follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's guidelines to ensure safety for children, it's inevitable that parents may be worried about this transition. That's why parents need to reinforce these health standards starting from your own very home.

As you prepare to send your kids back into the classroom, be sure to reinforce the everyday COVID-19 precautions they will need to keep in mind, as well as what makes these precautions so effective, other than clipping a mini-bottle of hand sanitizer to every backpack. Here are the tips on how you can protect your kids and keep them safe and healthy as they prepare for in-person classes: 

Take temperatures before they go to school

Schools will surely take temperature at the door, but it's best to make sure your child doesn't have a fever before entering the campus. A pediatrician suggests making it a ritual to take your student's temperature before school. For added reassurance, it's great to invest in an 02 oxygen saturation monitor (about $20), which measures oxygen in the blood. One of  an early sign of a COVID infection is a drop in your oxygen saturation, even before you become symptomatic.


Packed Their lunch in a brown bag

Although some schools may provide contact-free cafeteria food, it's always safe to bring food from home. Replace their reusable lunch boxes for a disposable brown bag. As of now, it's more sanitary to put your kids food on a brown bag and thrown them away after they eat.

Practice hand-washing at every transition of the day

It may seem easy but educate your kids more and instill in their minds about the importance of washing their hands whenever they leave home, arrive at school, enter the classroom, or go into the lunchroom. Washing their hands can help limit the risk of getting sick by touching a contaminated surface and then spreading the virus to their eyes, nose or mouth if they touch their face. Teach them to make this as a habit just like instinctively putting on a seat belt when they get into a car. 

Invest in the perfect mask

Wearing a mask helps contain any potentially infectious respiratory droplets that may be released while breathing, talking or coughing especially when social distancing is more challenging and even if the person doesn't yet know they're sick. All over age 2 years needs to wear face masks that cover the nose and mouth. This is a simple, proven tool to protect students unable to get the vaccine yet or who have chosen not to get it. When they fit well and are worn correctly and consistently, face masks are effective and safe to wear for long periods of time such as during the school day.

Buy a washable cloth face mask that expresses your child's personality after all, they'll be wearing it for a long  time. Also having a unique cloth face mask prevents an unfortunate mix-up with other students' disposable masks.

Preach the importance of common good

Teach your children that wearing masks are important for protecting other people more than themselves. The great thing about younger kids is that they're inherently empathetic and altruistic. For older kids, emphasize the importance of protecting the vulnerable ones, even if this means skipping the mass gatherings. Teach them to be responsible for the community's health.

Social distancing is still important

Even if your child is vaccinated, the most likely way for COVID-19 to spread is from person to person primarily between people who come into close contact with one another. Even though COVID-19 vaccines provide strong protection from severe illness, we are still yet to learn how effective these vaccines are at reducing transmission and against each of the COVID-19 variants currently circulating. Also, remember that an infected individual can be asymptomatic but still contagious.

Take a shower upon arriving at home

Consider having your children switch their normal shower or bath time by bathing and changing their clothes right when they return from school. 
Generally, kids are less symptomatic, but that also means they can be super-spreaders. Meaning, they can come back home as carriers of COVID-19 and not even know it, and no one around them knows it.

Stay kind while you stay safe

With all the uncertainty and anxiety that comes with the dangers of COVID-19, it's very essential to avoid degrading those who have contracted the virus. Remember, this is a tough time for everyone, and it's always best to be kind. People tend to be more evasive than connecting during this time. In other words, We have to be very conscious and careful of the fact that it's a socially problem.


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