Adjusting to a New Normal: School Edition
As stated by the CDC, mask wearing, frequent handwashing and physical distancing play a key role in slowing the spread of COVID-19, and ultimately keeping your child healthier and coronavirus free. However these prevention methods can often be easier said than done, especially for kids. Many children may be so eager to reunite with their friends after a long hiatus, that they may not always remember to maintain personal space.
If your family has chosen to send your child back to school for in-person classes, here are some simple steps to practice with your child.
Always wear a mask. By now it’s safe to say that mask wearing is something many of us have been practicing all summer long. Continue to coach your children on the proper way to wear a mask and why they’re needed, as this can help to form safer habits when around others in social settings like school. Considering that it’s very easy for kids to misplace things from time to time, it may also be a good idea to ensure your child has an extra mask or two stashed in their book bag or locker.
Create a personal bubble. Although they’ll also be wearing a mask, remind your child to keep a physical distance of 6 feet from others when at all possible, even their friends. For a child it can be hard to understand that while it may be safer to be back in classrooms now, they should still keep their guard up and know the basics of how the virus spreads. A great visual of a personal bubble to show your child is approximately two to three arm’s length. You even can practice this at home so they are more prepared to recognize a safe proximity when it comes to interacting with peers.
Germ free hands. Although frequent hand washing is the most recommended way to dispose of any picked-up germs, a handy alternative is to make sure they have a pocket-sized hand sanitizer. This way, there is less worry about if they’re able to maintain clean hands while away from home, while also making it more convenient for your kiddo in between classes during a busy school day.
It’s important to note that these back-to school adjustments will take some time to get used to and can especially be more challenging for younger children. The older your child is, the more likely it is that they’ll be able to understand the importance of these methods and put them into practice. If you feel that your child may have a harder time acclimating, consider keeping in close contact with teachers and other parents to see how you can work together.
Although there is no 100% guarantee every child will be protected against COVID-19, these prevention methods can certainly provide a peace of mind knowing that your family and school community are doing all that you can to keep children as safe as possible during these times of uncertainty.