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Preparing Your Kids For Back To School During COVID-19

With school returning in the fall things are going to look a lot different for kids returning. There will be new measures in place to ensure the safety for students, teachers and support staff. This guide will discuss how you can make things easier for adjustment of your kids to a return to school during COVID-19. And in turn it will help teachers and staff in keeping your kids safe and ensuring that they get the most out of their time at school.

How To Screen For COVID-19 Before Your Kids Leave For School

Check in with your child every morning before they leave for school every morning. They will have a screening process at the school but the last thing you want to do is drop your kids off at school only to have to return to pick them back up because they are showing signs and symptoms of COVID-19. Complicating things would be if they had signs and symptoms of COVID-19 and had contact with other children or staff members before entering the school.

The Signs and Symptoms you want to monitor for include:

  1. Temperature greater than 38 degree celsius for kids
  2. Cough
  3. Sore Throat
  4. Severe Headaches
  5. Vomiting
  6. Diarrhea

If your child has had close contact with someone with COVID-19 then you should have them stay home from school and arrange for COVID-19 testing.

If you are unsure if you or your kids are displaying symptoms of COVID-19 you can use this self assessment quiz that will help guide you:

Self-Assessment

If you do have signs and symptoms of COVID-19 then you will be prompted to book an appointment through Alberta Health for COVID-19 testing. Testing is quick and painless and is very well organized if needed

Review of Hand Washing Technique

One of the most important ways to combat both COVID-19 as well as the seasonal Flu infection is to wash our hands properly. Before COVID-19 many of us gave a quick rinse in the sink without giving proper thought to technique.

We should wash our hands for at least 20 seconds especially after being in a public space, blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing. For children it might be hard for them to gauge how long 20 seconds is. It will help guide them if they can sing a song while they wash their hands. For example it takes about 20 seconds to sing the happy birthday song twice or to sing the ABC song twice.

Although hard for kids to do, remind them of the importance of not touching their eyes, nose or mouth. Because of how hard it is for kids to avoid touching their face it lends to the importance of having proper techniques for hand washing and using hand sanitizer when washing their hands is not an option.

Make Sure They Have Easy Access to Hand Sanitizer

There may be situations where they will not have easy access to water or it will be inconvenient for them to go to the bathroom. In this case they should have access to at least 60% alcohol to sanitize their hands.

The schools will have frequent sanitization stations but it does not hurt for them to have travel sized sanitizer bottles in their backpack or on their person if needed.

Pack Them a Couple of Bottles of Water

If they are thirsty the water fountain may no longer be an option so it might be a good idea to pack a couple of bottles of water from them just in case.

Develop Daily Routines Before and After School

Develop daily routines such as things to pack in the morning and things to do when you return home such as washing hands immediately on returning home and washing any face cloth coverings. Also it is a good idea to make sure your contact information is up to date at the school in case they need to reach you. Ensure that there are alternative contacts available in case the primary contacts are more at risk of severe illness from COVID-19.

You should also ensure that you have a plan in case we have a school closure or if a close contact of your child tests positive for COVID-19. In that case you should at least plan for a quarantine period while you arrange for COVID-19 testing.

Arranging For Safe Transport For You Kids

If your child is going to school by bus have them wear their facemask on the bus if possible and remind them to follow the rules of the bus as well as to space themselves properly from other children in following social distance rules.

If your child is carpooling with other kids then ensure again that everyone in the car is wearing face masks and that everyone that is in the car is part of the same cohort as your child.

Talk To Your Kids About Expectations of School During Covid-19

School will look different then it was previously and it is important to discuss with your child how school will look different in regards to interactions with other students as well as teachers. There will be new routines as well as the physical environment will most likely change to help encourage social distancing as well.

Children work best when they have structured routines so it will be helpful to understand what those routines for your child’s school are prior to opening. Preparing for those routines at home so School is not a stressful experience for them will help them ease back into school. It is important to have these open conversations with your children so they understand that these measures are in place to help keep everyone including themselves as safe as possible.

There are a lot of great resources out there that are catered towards kids to help them navigate school during COVID-19.

If you have any questions about COVID-19 or what you can do to ensure the safety for you and your family do not hesitate to reach out. We are happy to provide you with friendly advice. At iCare Pharmacy we always provide free delivery along with expert advice!

Take Care and Stay Safe

Wasif Kamal

iCare Pharmacy

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