Many parents may be a little uneasy about sending their children back to school for the new school term. The COVID-19 pandemic is a strong source of concern and keeping students, teachers, and staff safe is a top priority for school districts. There are many new changes that students will face this new school year and it can be stressful for them. More importantly, there is a need to ensure that children are safe and the school will do all that is necessary to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in schools. Parents too, have a part to play in ensuring that they prepare their children to go back to school in the COVID-19 pandemic.
Stress the Importance of Hygiene and Mask Protocols
Hygiene and mask guidelines in schools are important preventative measures that schools have adopted to help keep students safe. Avoiding close contact with classmates and friends while at school will be a difficult thing, but students will have to socially distance from each other – at least six feet. The recommendation by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is that students wear cloth face masks in schools and other public spaces. Let your children know that you understand that wearing a mask is not the most pleasant experience, but that it is necessary to keep COVID-19 at bay and them safe. It helps to practice wearing the mask routinely while at home, emphasizing the proper ways to put on and remove the mask.
Considering the seriousness of COVID-19, schools will likely develop routines that encourage students to wash their hands frequently. Cultivate healthy hand hygiene habits in the home, that involves frequent hand-washing with soap and water for a period of at least 20 seconds, especially before and after eating, sneezing or coughing, or adjusting the face covering. Use creative means to motivate young children to wash their hands thoroughly. For example, encourage them to sing the chorus of their favorite Disney song twice and wash their hands until they complete singing the chorus. Suggest to your older children to use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol to clean their hands when soap and water are unavailable for use.
Schooling in In-person Learning/Remote Learning
The traditional, in-person classroom will not be like it has been in the past. Students have a new set of protocols that they must follow according to the guidelines of public health officials and school districts. Wearing a face mask is mandatory in most schools, while others encourage mask-wearing, and you should instill in your children the importance of wearing their mask. Maintaining social distance will be tough for students, so explaining to your children why they have to create separation between their classmates can help to minimize confusion and disappointment. Stress that social distancing is a safety measure intended to prevent them from getting sick with COVID-19. Be sure to practice social distancing at home with your children.
Some students will be participating in remote learning for the first time and this can be difficult to adjust to. Encourage your children to embrace the change and help them to create a fun space to do their school work. Find ways to keep them excited and motivated by limiting phone use, but also giving them a break from the computer screen as well. Let them know that, much like their teachers, you will be there to lend your support when they find it challenging to complete a task.
Continue Discussing COVID-19 With Your Children
Continue having little talks with your children about COVID-19, easing their fears and worries, but also paying attention to their concerns. Answer their questions honestly and ensure that they understand your responses too. Keep the talks age-appropriate. Reassure your children that all the measures being taken are to keep them safe during this COVID-19 pandemic.
School Physicals & Student Health in Paramus, NJ
One way to ensure you prepare your children for back to school is to assess their health. Visit AFC Urgent Care Paramus today for school physicals and student care and put your children on a path for success with a healthy start. Our trusted team of compassionate staff will provide the best care possible to your children. For questions please call 201-262-2010.