COVID-19: Three tips to help prepare your child for a successful school year
The start of the school year is an exciting time for both students and parents, but this year will look different than any other school year due to COVID-19. Anna Kathryn Burch, MD, pediatric infectious disease specialist, shared ways you can help your children prepare for a successful school year in the midst of the pandemic.
- Make sure they wear the right type of mask. The best mask is the one that your school-age child can wear comfortably, whether that be a paper mask or a cloth mask. Avoid allowing your child to use a neck gaitor, a circular piece of fabric that sits around the neck and can be pulled up over the mouth and nose, as their mask. Recent research has proven that these are not effective in stopping the spread of COVID-19. At the end of each day, masks should be either disposed of, if made of paper, or washed. “I recommend stocking up and having five masks on hand for your child so they can use a different mask each day of the week. At the end of the week, wash the masks to prepare for the next week of school,” said Dr. Burch.
- Make sure they practice good hand hygiene. Remind your child to practice good hand hygiene while at school. This means washing their hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or using hand sanitizer made of at least 65–70% alcohol. “I recommend using hand sanitizer at least once every 1–2 hours,” said Dr. Burch.
- Make sure they are as healthy as possible. It is important to make sure your child is up to date on all their vaccines and hasn’t missed any well child checks with their pediatrician due to the pandemic. Also, remember flu season is coming and flu shots are important. “The best way you can protect your child from the flu is to make sure that you and your family get flu shots for this flu season,” said Dr. Burch.
“Remember, kids are resilient. While this school year doesn’t look like any school year we could have ever imagined, they will get use to all the new precautions being taken to keep them safe,” said Dr. Burch.
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