Sending a child to school during a pandemic can be one of the most stressful situations that any parent has to go through. While the rates of serious illness among children have remained quite low, they always risk bringing it home to those they love. Fortunately, as schools begin to open, some things can be done to greatly reduce the risks of your child becoming ill and spreading the virus. Here you will learn about some of the best ways to achieve this goal.
One of the most important things you can do is teach your child how to wear a mask properly. This is likely to be difficult at first as children are known to have difficulty with them. They tend to touch their mouth and face without thinking about the consequences as well. It is best to have them train at home where you can supervise them to be sure that they know how to handle themselves at school.
When you see them touching their eyes, nose, or mouth, be sure to explain to them why they should not do that in a way that is appropriate for their age. With repeat reminders, they likely will be able to learn new behaviors. It is also a good idea to give them a reward if they are able to properly wear the mask for an extended period of time. This will reinforce the positive behaviors that you want them to exhibit.
You can also learn about what products your child will be allowed to bring to school with them. Every school takes it’s own safety measures, but due to the virus’s seriousness, many have changed their policies. For example, many schools had banned the use of hand sanitizer for elementary students, but have since repealed that in light of the situation. You may also be able to send your child to school with sanitizing wipes that they can either keep at their desk or provide their teacher with. Be sure that if you send such materials to school with a younger child, they fully understand the hazards and know how to properly use them to keep the possibility of catching the virus as low as possible.
It is critically important also to take the time to teach your child just how important it is to regularly wash their hands and the best way to do so. Children can have short attention spans, so even if a teacher reminds them to wash them, they may not take the time to do so properly. You can teach a child to wash their hands for an appropriate amount of time by having them sing a song while they do so.
It would help if you also showed them the proper technique, such as getting between their fingers, under their fingernails and lathering above the wrist. Proper handwashing is one of the easiest things that can be done to help reduce the spread of the virus. Again, explaining to your child in an age-appropriate manner why this is so important can also help to go a long way.
There is nothing fun about living through a pandemic, but it is important that many generations before had done so and had far fewer tools and knowledge at their disposal. By taking the right precautions, it can be possible to safely open schools so that children can have the best learning experience possible. Use the above tips as well as recommendations from the CDC to feel as confident as possible about the transition for you and your child.