It’s almost time to go back to school! As a parent, you may be concerned about how to send your children back to school safely during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Public health experts, like the CDC, encouraged the reopening of schools due to the critical role they play in the well-being of local communities and providing academic instruction and support. Additionally, the CDC provided schools with guidance on how to reopen schools during this unprecedented time.
There are a few more things you can do to help prepare your children to go back to school safely.
How to prepare your children for school during the pandemic
Reinforce social distancing
Students should practice social distancing and stay at least 6 feet apart, which is about 2 arms’ lengths, from others in both indoor and outdoor spaces. Have your children practice social distancing along with other preventive measures, like wearing masks and washing their hands, to help keep them safe and prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Your child should stay home if they’re feeling sick, have tested positive for COVID-19, or have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.
Provide a cloth face covering and teach hand hygiene
Make sure to give your child a cloth face covering before returning to school. A cloth mask is a breathable face covering that helps filter out respiratory droplets and prevents the spread of viruses like COVID-19. Please note, students shouldn’t wear cloth masks with exhalation vents or valves as they do not prevent the spread of the virus from person to person. The CDC provides a more comprehensive guide on wearing cloth face coverings.
Also, make sure that your kids know proper hand hygiene, like thoroughly washing their hands and using hand sanitizer, before returning to school. This guide helps explain the steps for proper hand hygiene. If soap and water aren’t readily available, we recommend purchasing an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that is at least 60% alcohol.
Stay flexible on virtual schooling
Schools are diligently working with local leaders and public health experts to make sure students stay safe. But if COVID-19 cases around the community increase, it’s important to be open-minded and have a plan in place for your children to attend virtual school. The CDC provides resources on how to plan your child’s virtual school schedule when learning from home.
Are you still weighing the pros and cons of in-person schooling versus virtual school for your children? You can review these decision-making checklists for back-to-school planning and decide what options are best for your family.
Keep in mind
This upcoming school year will be a completely new endeavor not only for our children, but also for all parents, school administration, and our communities. Let’s do our part by planning ahead of time to make sure everyone stays safe when the school year starts.