The schools are slowly opening up, and as much as it is a relief to get a little bit of normalcy back into your family routine, having the kids back to school introduces some new stressors. Adding a few new things to your pre and post-school schedule will help you mitigate some of the new risk factors with sending your children back to school.
The science is in, and wearing masks dramatically reduces the likelihood that you or your children will spread COVID-19 to others. Children may not be the most outwardly affected demographic, but they are one of the largest vectors for passing the virus on to others.
Your children might be old hat at wearing their masks for a quick run to the grocery store, but wearing it all day can be taxing. Make sure their masks fit them well and aren’t rubbing on their ears, chin, or nose. The more comfortable it sits, the less likely they are to take them off.
Hand-washing and Hand Sanitizer
While almost eight months into the pandemic, using hand sanitizer and washing your hands correctly might be second nature, it never hurts to remind your children how to make sure they are getting clean. It is important to remind them to try to avoid touching their face and mask as much as possible even if they are washing their hands and sanitizing.
Take as Little as Possible to School
Backpacks can be black holes of favorite toys, colored pencils, books, and homework. To help keep everything at home clean and safe to play with, encourage your children to take only what they absolutely need to school. That way, Fluffy, their favorite teddy bear, doesn’t have to take a trip in the spin cycle every day.
Changing When They Get Home
While it might feel a little extreme, having everyone change clothes and, if possible, take a bath right when they get home will help not to spread any germs hanging on to them from school. Creating a dedicated space for backpacks and school books helps limit the areas that need to be wiped down and sanitized every day. Disinfecting frequently touched surfaces like door handles, drawer pulls, car doors, appliances, and phones are still key steps to the post-school routine.
Taking Preventative Measures
Does your child have a sniffle that is probably just allergies? Keep them at home. Any kind of congestion or illness, even if it isn’t COVID-19, makes them more susceptible to getting sick. If you have a child in a high-risk category staying home and continuing to do online-only learning is your best option to keep them and your family COVID-19 free.
Make sure your child is up-to-date on all of their vaccines and regularly scheduled well visits. Staying healthy is the most important thing, especially heading into the height of the flu season.
Creating a family plan for what to do if anyone in your family is exposed or is sick will help limit stress if it happens. Knowing who will contact your family from the school if your child has been exposed will prevent any unknown caller screening. Another great thing to add to your COVID-19 school plan is what to do if the schools close again or if they are sent into quarantine.
If you have questions about how to help your child adjust back into the swing of school, making a plan for COVID-19 and school, or need to make an appointment to get flu vaccinations, please call our office, and we’ll be happy to help!