BY COURTNEY INGALLS
Back to school season is among us yet again, but this year parents have to prepare their kids a little differently due to COVID-19. With many schools across the country tackling in-person, hybrid, and online classes, kids need to learn how to adapt to the new normal while also making sure they are staying safe and healthy. Here are some back-to-school tips by the CDC in preparing your kids for the new school year!
Looking for extra help with school for your kids during the pandemic? Check out The Best Online Tutoring Resources for Kids During COVID-19!
Make Sure You Aren’t Sending Your Child Sick to School
One of the first things you should do before sending your kids off to school every day is making sure they aren’t feeling sick in any way. The CDC recommends that you should check every morning signs of illness. Some of the signs are a temperature over 100.4 degrees, sore throat, coughing, diarrhea, severe headache, vomiting, or body aches. If your child has any of those symptoms, they should stay home from school. You should also familiarize yourself with local COVID-19 testing sites just in case your kids do develop symptoms.
It is also important to make sure your child is up to date on recommended vaccines. The CDC says all school-aged kids should be getting an influenza vaccine every year, except for rare exceptions. Being up to date on vaccines is very important this year because it is still not known if a person who has both COVID-19 and the flu at the same time will result in a more severe illness.
Develop Daily Routines Before and After School
Having a daily routine is always great to have, but now it is more important than ever in order to protect your kids from COVID-19. In order to take the necessary precautions every day, develop routines that you will use both in the morning and after your kids get out of school. For example, the CDC suggests making sure certain items are packed in your kid’s backpack every day such as hand sanitizer or a backup cloth face mask. After school, parents and kids should get into the habit of washing your hands immediately and washing face masks that were used throughout the day.
Talk to Your Kids About Precautions to Take
Some kids might not understand how important these precautions are in order to keep themselves and the people around them safe. Before school is back in session, make sure to have a discussion with your kids about what they should be doing while at school. Some things your child should be aware of are:
- Washing their hands more often
- Social distancing from other students
- Wearing a face mask at all times
- Not sharing objects with other students such as books and writing utensils
Have Multiple Face Coverings
Whether your kids will be in the classroom full time or part-time, making sure they have enough clean face masks is important. Having multiple masks will help out parents so they don’t have to continue washing the same one every night before school. When looking for masks for your kids, make sure they fit snug but comfortably against their face, completely cover the nose and mouth, allow breathing without restrictions, and can be washed and machine dried.
Help Your Kids Adjust to the New Normal
This transition will be hard for some kids to grasp, and that is ok. Changes due to COVID-19 have been hard on everyone all over the world, but kids might not understand or cope with it as well as adults have. Sit down with your kids and have a conversation about how school will look a little different this year. Certain aspects such as desks 6 feet apart, teachers maintaining distance from students, and the possibility of having to each lunch in their classrooms will seem odd and uncomfortable for some students. Make sure your kids are aware of these changes so they can adapt better. Once they are in school, check up on them and ask how school is going. Communicate with your kids to find out how they are feeling during this time.
See the full CDC safety checklist for in-person learning here.
This story first appeared on our sister publication newyorkfamily.com.