As many states across the country are still trying to flatten the curve of Coronavirus cases, time still marches on towards the opening of another school year and many parents, teachers, and administrators are searching for a solution that will protect everyone.
The American Academy of Pediatrics advocates for in-person learning, but recommends flex-schedules and polices that each individual area can adapt according to their levels of transmission. For Example, New York, once the epicenter of the country, and now cases are at record lows, plans to open in September, taking into consideration that many students may not be able to go everyday. Florida, on the other hand, where cases have sky-rocketed to record highs, and still continue to climb, announced that the will reopen all schools in August for five-days-a-week instruction.
As a parent, how can you protect your student? In a recent interview with CBS News, Dr. Dyan Hes, a pediatrician in NYC, offered tips to help parents help their children reduce their risk of infection.
Have your child wear a mask. “If your child could tolerate wearing a mask, you should really have them go to school with a mask,” Dr. Hes said in her interview with CBS News. However, for the younger children, this may be easier said than done. “The minimum that we ask is that the teachers wear masks. It’s more the teachers that are shedders than the students giving it to the teachers.”
Make sure that they have disinfectant wipes. “I really think that you should send your child to school with Clorox wipes or Wet Ones and teach them how they can clean their desk.”
Change clothes asap when they arrive home. “When your kids come home from school, you should have them undress at the door and wash all their clothes as best as you can.”
When purchasing school supplies, get washable backpacks. Dr. Hes stated in her interview that it would be a good idea to purchase a washable backpack and parents can wash backpacks everyday to help eliminate potential droplets from an infected individual.
Wash hands. Make sure your children are washing their hands properly when they return to school. Hes said. “I always say that the little kids — when they learn to wash their hands in school, sometimes they wash them so much that they get irritated and eczema, so checking your kids’ skin to make sure there’s no cracks from washing so frequently and moisturizing well, maybe putting Vaseline on their hands at night.”
If the smaller ones need a little help on reminding them how to properly wash their hands, Baby Shark has it covered.
If your child or someone in your household is sick, keep them home. “If your child is sick, remotely sick, you have to keep them home. You cannot send them to school,” Dr. Hes stressed. “Everything can be a symptom of COVID: diarrhea, cough, stomach ache, headache.”
Whatever you decide for the upcoming school year, make sure that you and your family stay safe and sound!