Back to School 2020: 6 Tips on How to Keep Your Child Safe This School Year
For some families, keeping kids at home this school year is not a viable option. Many Americans are struggling to stay afloat during the pandemic due to economic hardship, and some may simply feel their child needs a return to face-to-face instruction. If you are sending your child back to school this fall, make sure you take precautions to keep children and educators safe. Here are 6 guiding principles to prevent the spread of COVID-19 during the school year:\
- Do not send your child to school if they show signs of illness.
Whether or not you suspect your child has come into contact with COVID-19, keep them at home and isolated if they show cold- or flu-like symptoms. Signs to watch out for include fever, runny nose, cough, fatigue, muscle aches, vomiting or diarrhea. Coronavirus presents differently in every child, so make sure to contact health professionals as soon as symptoms appear.
- Have confidence in health protocols, such as wearing a mask and social distancing.
If you choose to send your child back to school for in-person learning, health protocols are mandatory. According to the CDC, wearing a mask and social distancing has been proven to stop the spread of COVID-19. Equip your child with an appropriate face covering before sending them to school. Get them used to face masks by allowing them to choose their favorite style. Teach your child the importance of staying six feet away from others whenever possible.
- Stay in touch with your child’s school administration.
Coronavirus is rapidly shifting across state lines nationwide. While some communities may only have a few cases, their neighbors may fester major outbreaks. Make sure to stay informed about your school’s education plan. Sign up for the latest alerts from school administrations, and set up regular meetings with your child’s educators whenever possible (ideally on a weekly basis). REMOVE HIghlighted ( can’t find the strike through)
- Pack a brown-bag lunch for your child if possible.
Some schools may offer cafeteria options, but if possible for your family, consider packing a lunch instead. Instead of a traditional lunchbox, use disposable materials like brown paper bags and plastic sandwich baggies. The less items your child carries back and forth from home to school, the better.
- Help your child remain social while maintaining social distance.
Just because your child remains six feet apart from other children doesn’t mean their friendships are over. Set up virtual playdates for your child frequently. Teach them how to stay connected without physical proximity. Social interaction is vital for every child’s mental well-being, even during a pandemic.
- Have your child shower/bathe when they come home from school.
Switch up your nightly routine and have your child shower/bathe with hot water immediately upon returning from school. Although your child may not show symptoms of COVID-19, studies show that they can become “super-spreaders” of the virus. Protect more vulnerable populations and prioritize personal hygiene in your household.