The new school year brings concerns for many parents and caregivers wondering how students can stay safer in school during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We can all take steps to help keep children and teens at in-person school this year. Safe, in-person school offers more than just academics. It’s a place for students to enrich social and emotional skills, access support services and enjoy activities with peers,” shares Dr. Marni Turell, a pediatrician with Lake Health Physician Group Pediatrics.
Our Lake Health Physician Group Pediatrics providers share these tips to keep kids safe during school and activities:
- If your child is eligible, get vaccinated. Talk to your doctor with any concerns you have about the COVID-19 vaccine, and remember that it takes 2 weeks after the vaccine’s last dose to be considered fully vaccinated.
- Wear a face mask during the school day. This helps protect both your child, and kids who haven’t been able to get the vaccine yet. Most kids can wear a mask successfully, especially with positive role modeling.
- Wash hands often, especially before eating or adjusting masks. Hand sanitizer can be an effective option when soap and water isn’t available.
- Take time to talk about your schools policies for physical distancing, new classroom routines, cleaning, symptoms at school and bussing. Talking openly with kids about what they can expect during the school day can ease anxiety.
- Pay attention to mental health as well as physical health. This school year may bring new anxiety or stress. If you have concerns about your child’s mental health, your pediatrician or child’s school can provide support.
- Keep your child home from school if they’re sick.
- Don’t forget the basics. Keeping active, eating well and having a good sleep routine can help your family stay well. Stay on schedule for well-child visits and routine immunizations.
Explore more recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics to help keep students as safe as possible during school this year.