As summer draws to a close, many children across the country are looking forward to going back to school. They anticipate reuniting with friends, beginning the next grade level, and learning about all sorts of new and exciting things. While this may be an exciting time for most kids, parents may be feeling more trepidacious. The idea of returning to school during a pandemic may be unsettling for parents. If you find yourself feeling anxious about the prospect of your child returning to school this fall, know that you’re not alone. Fortunately, we have come up with a list of back-to-school safety tips to help ease your mind and ensure your kids’ safety upon returning to school!
Practice social distancing
Sitting or standing too close to others can increase the risk of contracting germs such as those caused by the coronavirus. This is where the importance of “social distancing” comes in. Social distancing (or physical distancing) is the practice of putting enough space between yourself and others in order to reduce the likelihood of virus transmission.
While schools play an important role in implementing social distancing both inside and outside the classroom, it’s also imperative that parents remind children to maintain a safe distance from others as well. Children should also avoid sharing food, drinks and any other personal items.
Wear a mask
Children are no exception when it comes to the importance of wearing a mask. Face coverings are crucial as there may be times when maintaining a safe distance from others becomes impossible or challenging.
Make sure your little one always wears a mask in public places, especially at school. The transmission of the virus can happen instantly when there is no face protection. Infectious respiratory droplets from an infected individual can be released into the air when he or she breathes, speaks, coughs or sneezes. Ensure that your child has an extra layer of protection by providing a mask.
Remember to include masks on your list when you purchase school supplies. Have your child wear a mask as soon as he or she steps out of the house, and be sure to include a “back-up” mask if a replacement is needed during the day.
Keep hands clean
With or without a pandemic, proper and frequent hand-washing is one of the most important habits parents need to teach their children. Regular hand-washing can help protect your child from contracting germs and viruses that cause illness. Teach your little one the importance of keeping hand-washing. Encourage young children to practice this habit before and after meals, after playing with toys, after playing outside, and before they touch their face.
At times when hand-washing isn’t possible, for example if children are in a classroom that doesn’t have a sink, it is recommended that your child use hand sanitizer that contains 60% alcohol. Furthermore, children should be reminded to cover their faces with a tissue when coughing or sneezing.
Boost your child’s immune system
Another back-to-school safety tip you shouldn’t overlook is helping to strengthen your child’s immune system. A strong immune system can help keep your child from contracting viruses and other diseases. Strengthen your little one’s ability to fight off sickness by ensuring proper nutrition. Limit children’s intake of unhealthy foods like sugary and salty treats. Instead, encourage children to eat a balanced diet, and always incorporate fruits and vegetables into your family’s meals. Remember to also prioritize quality sleep and make sure your kids get at least eight hours of sleep every night.
Closely monitor their health
Checking your child’s health and wellness should always be one of your top priorities as a parent. Therefore, be sure to always monitor your child’s health condition. Don’t ignore minor symptoms. A simple fever or cold may seem harmless, but it’s always better to be sure. Be sure to follow your child’s scheduled check-ups regularly and don’t put off consulting with a doctor if you notice anything strange or unusual.
Listen to your child’s concerns
As a parent, one of the most important roles you play is being your child’s confidante and advocate. If your child voices any anxiety or concerns about returning to school amidst the pandemic, be available to listen. Discuss all of the health and safety measures that will be followed at school, and assure them you’re doing everything you can to ensure their health and safety as well.
It’s understandable how parents like you may feel anxious about your child returning to school. By following these back-to-school safety tips, and choosing the best educational child care setting that prioritizes your child’s wellness and safety, you can put your mind at ease and be assured of their safe and continued quality learning. Give us a call at Imagine Nation Learning Center for more information.