Health and wellness are at the forefront of the upcoming school year. Many parents remain wary of sending their kids back to school for in-person classes because of the coronavirus crisis. Those parents who are ready to take the risk of letting their kids receive an in-person education need to go to additional measures to keep their little ones protected. Follow this guide if you are planning to send your kids back to in-person classes this year.
Be Prepared With Proper PPE
Personal protective equipment (PPE) is designed to shield your kids from germs that may lead to COVID-19. Face masks, in particular, are considered the greatest external defense mechanism against the virus. You as a parent should determine whether you want your children to have disposable or cloth masks.
There are many benefits associated with disposable masks. Your kids can retrieve a fresh face covering every time they switch activities at school. Having a new face mask for every activity further reduces the possibility of them contracting COVID-19 or bringing the illness home to you. Disposable masks also reduce the likelihood of your child going maskless because he, or she, lost their face covering while playing.
Cloth masks require washing but also come with benefits. A cloth mask reduces the probability of your child interacting with other kids and exchanging germs. There is no possibility of a child asking your little one for a face mask if he, or she, only has the face-covering they are wearing. The potential for your child to lose a cloth mask is, however, high.
You can also consider sending them to school with a 3-sided plastic divider to allow them an extra layer of protection from germs. Some schools already have them in place, but if your child’s class doesn’t have them, you can always send one with them to school.
Teach Proper Handwashing
The pandemic has revealed how many adults understand the importance of proper handwashing. Children are even more prone to not properly wash their hands after using the restroom or interacting with someone.
Proper handwashing includes soap and warm water. It is not enough to quickly rinse your hands under the water for a few seconds. The soap should be worked into the hands so that a lather is created. You should then place your hands in a downward position while rinsing so that all the germs brought up by the lather experience fall into the washbowl. On average, it takes about two minutes to properly wash your hands. It may take your children longer if they have been playing in the dirt or sand.
Get a COVID Test After Potential Exposure
The likelihood of your child being exposed to COVID-19 is relatively high if they attend in-person classes. You need to take action immediately if you believe anyone in your family has been exposed to coronavirus. Since there are over seven billion lab tests done each year in the US, there are already many facilities in place that have been converted for COVID-19 testing.
The best way to be proactive about fighting the virus is to get tested before showing signs of an infection. Experts at your local testing site will typically guide you through a questionnaire in which you will be asked about potential symptoms of the virus. As with any medical condition, detecting the illness early is the best way to lower the risk of severe consequences.
Make Healthy Nutrition Choices
Your immune system is the greatest internal defense against COVID-19. You should encourage your kids to eat healthy by choosing fruits and vegetables over candy and other junk food options. Taking vitamins is also essential if you send your children back to school for in-person learning.
Make Sure Your Kids Have Up-To-Date Vaccines
You can request your child’s immunization records to determine the last time he, or she, received influenza as well as other vaccination shots. Since HIPAA rules require medical records protected by HIPAA to be kept for at least six years, your doctor should have all relevant vaccinations on record. Ensuring that your kids are up-to-date in the area of vaccines may lower the risk of hospitalization due to COVID-19.
In these uncertain times, you may be worried about sending your child back to school. However, with these precautions, you can have a safer start to the next school year.