How To Keep Your Child Safe As School Resumes

With schools resuming and many parents understandably apprehensive about keeping the children safe, we’ve curated some tips to help your child stay safe while in school.

Here they are:

Teach your child to observe basic hygiene

Basic hygiene like handwashing with soap and water is highly effective in helping to curb the spread of the virus. So, teach your children to wash their hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. This can be done by singing the ‘Happy Birthday’ song twice during hand washing.

They should wash their hands before and after meals, after coughing, sneezing, or adjusting their facemask. You can also give them a bottle of hand sanitizer use to wipe their hands when hand washing is not possible.

The best way for you to instill this practice in them is by practicing it yourself. Remember that children learn a lot from modeled behavior. So, wash your hands regularly too.

Give your child a facemask

Explain how important wearing a facemask is. The WHO recommends that children below 5 should not wear facemasks but children between 6 and 11 years can use facemasks once they demonstrate the ability to use it appropriately. Children above 12 years can use facemasks like adults.

To mitigate children losing their facemasks or exchanging it with friends, try labeling your child’s facemask. Give them a spare facemask, packed in a neat and resealable bag (a Ziploc bag will do).

You should explain the danger of exchanging facemasks with friends, and how they can make themselves, their friends, or their loved ones sick with the virus if they do so.

Regularly disinfect the house

Regularly disinfect the house and high-risk surfaces like doorknobs and tables. Also, you can teach your child to be more cautious about using these objects in school. This way, you reduce the chances of your child getting the virus from such surfaces.

Visit the school unannounced

Take time out to visit your child’s school during school hours to take note of how things are run. It will also help in reducing your anxiety when you see that WHO and NCDC precautions are being taken seriously. It is also an opportunity for you to offer constructive feedback if you notice anything that can be done better.

Monitor your child

Remain observant of your child during this period. Look out for symptoms of COVID-19 such as a running nose, sneezing, fever, fatigue, or diarrhea. It is best for your child to remain home if they are sick, and if you suspect that it might be COVID-19 based on the symptoms, notify the authorities so your child can get tested.

By Dr. Okonkwor Oyor C.

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