Back to school looks different this year for everyone–parents, kids, teachers and school staff alike. Whether you’re homeschooling, virtually learning, or sending your child back to school in-person, one thing that’s likely on your mind is how to make sure they’re safe. While there isn’t one sure-fire solution to protecting your child from COVID-19, there are many things you can do, and that you can teach your son or daughter to do, to help protect them.
School provides tremendous social benefits. However, one of the biggest ways to slow the spread of COVID-19 is through physical distancing. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends children and adults remain six feet apart.
You can use visual aids and practice to teach your children how to interact with others at school while maintaining a safe distance. Start by explaining to them why they need to stay six feet away from their peers and teachers. You can then help them measure six feet with a measuring tape and find something of theirs that measures that length, like a favorite stuffed animal or toy. Another option is to have them guess what is 6 feet from where they are standing. For other ways to teach your children how to socially distance safely, click here.
Wear A Mask
According to the CDC, “when used consistently and correctly, along with important mitigation strategies, cloth face coverings are important to help slow the spread of COVID-19.” Cloth face masks help prevent the spread of respiratory droplets and can help protect your child and the rest of your family if someone does come to school, knowingly or not, infected with COVID-19.
Additionally, face masks are exceedingly important during times when proper physical distancing is difficult to maintain. Getting your child used to wearing a mask and teaching them not to touch or remove their mask while at school is one way you can mitigate their risk and others’.
Sanitize and Wash Hands Frequently
For both adults and children, frequent and thorough hand-washing is important in slowing the spread of COVID-19 and other illnesses. Teach your children not only how to wash their hands, but the key times to do it, such as after using the restroom, before and after eating, when returning home from public areas, before touching their face or mouth, after touching pets and garbage and more. Plus, practicing these four easy steps will help younger and older children alike remember how to wash their hands effectively:
- Get your hands wet in clean water and put soap on your hands to make suds.
- Rub. Rub rub rub your soapy hands together long enough to sing “Happy Birthday” in your head twice. Clean your palms, the back of your hands, and between your fingers. And don’t forget to clean under your nails, as they can trap dirt and germs.
- Hold your hands under clean, running water and rub them to rinse them fully.
- Shake your hands a few times, then dry them with a clean towel or hand dryer.
Something you can do to help prevent exposure is to disinfect and sanitize your child’s school supplies, including their lunchbox, pencils, crayons, books, binders and more. This can help keep other members of your family safe as well. You can also ask your child’s teacher what they’re doing to ensure the furniture and supplies kept at school are cleaned.
While we all learn the importance of sharing in school, this year is bound to look a little bit different. Explain to your child that right now, they shouldn’t be sharing supplies, clothing (including masks) or food with others. Doing so spreads germs and viruses like COVID-19.
Rely on Your Neighbors at Townsen Memorial Hospital
At Townsen Memorial, your care and comfort is our priority. For other ways to protect yourself from COVID-19, click here. Our team is well-versed in infectious diseases, and can care for you or a loved one if you are experiencing severe symptoms of COVID-19.
Conveniently located in Humble, off of FM 1960 and Highway 59, our team of certified medical professionals are available for your emergent, clinical or hospital care. To learn more about Townsen Memorial Hospital, visit https://www.townsenmemorialhospital.com/.