COVID-19 and Kids: Staying safe in school

This year, heading back to school looks different for everyone. For those of you who are already back at school or are planning to head back to school in the future, here are some good tips and guidance to follow:

BEFORE ARRIVING AT SCHOOL

✓ PRACTICE SAFETY PRECAUTIONS AT HOME

Practicing precautions with children at home can be a great way to ensure they are prepared. Precautions to practice may include: wearing a cloth face covering, following physical distancing, keeping hands to themselves, avoiding touching eyes, nose, or mouth, and avoiding sharing food, supplies, or toys with other students. It may also be important to discuss topics of peer pressure regarding these precautions.
For more information about family conversations about COVID-19 and practicing precautions, visit this link.

✓ WATCH FOR COVID-19 SYMPTOMS
Look out for signs and symptoms of COVID-19 and a rare complication: Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome. 

✓ CHILDREN SHOULD STAY HOME IF:
If anyone in the household is experiencing COVID-19 symptoms or has a confirmed infection with or without symptoms, have your child stay home from school until:
The person receives a negative diagnostic test result
Or for 10 days after the person began showing symptoms and 24 hours after resolution of fever

If your child has had close contact with someone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19 or if they have been in the same classroom with someone who has COVID-19.

If your child is experiencing new onset of symptoms of illness, particularly fever. Remember that COVID-19 can present differently in children than in adults, more children present with diarrhea. And even if it isn’t COVID-19 keeping your child home when they are ill minimizes the spread of all diseases and aids in a faster recovery if the child can rest. 

✓ TAKE YOUR CHILD’S TEMPERATURE DAILY 
Before leaving for school, take your child’s temperature to ensure that they do not have a temperature above 100 degrees Fahrenheit. 

It is best to do this when they are relaxed. If your child has been exercising or has spent time outdoors in the heat, wait 20 minutes or more before taking their temperature. 

✓ CHILDREN SHOULD LEAVE UNNECESSARY PERSONAL ITEMS AT HOME
Your child should only bring necessary items to school (e.g., cloth face coverings, school supplies); nonessential items like toys should stay at home. 

✓ USE PERSONAL RATHER THAN PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION, IF POSSIBLE
Personal transportation (car, biking, walking) is a safer option for travelling to school. It is much easier to maintain physical distancing in your own vehicle compared to public (bus, city transit) or shared (non-household carpooling). If this is not possible, be sure your child wears a face covering in any public or shared transportation setting. Ask if the bus driver can open some of the windows to maximize ventilation.
WHILE AT SCHOOL
✓ WEAR A CLOTH FACE COVERING
Whenever possible, school-goers should wear a cloth face covering – especially if physical distancing cannot be maintained. Visit this link for more information about which face covering to use.

If you have a young child, it might be a good idea to pack an extra cloth face covering in case the original covering is lost or soiled.

✓ MAINTAIN PHYSICAL DISTANCING
It is important to remain 6 feet apart from others while at school.

✓ CHILDREN SHOULD WASH THEIR HANDS 
Regularly hand washing for 20 seconds with soap and water is one of the most important ways to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
AFTER RETURNING HOME FROM SCHOOL

✓ CHILDREN SHOULD CHANGE THEIR CLOTHES IMMEDIATELY AFTER RETURNING HOME

Have your child change their clothing and separate it from any clean laundry.

✓ CHILDREN SHOULD WASH THEIR HANDS 
Regularly hand washing for 20 seconds with soap and water is one of the most important ways to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

✓ CHILDREN SHOULD LEAVE THEIR SHOES OUTSIDE 
Have your child leave their shoes outside, as they may have picked up the SARS-CoV-2 virus while at school. [Current evidence suggests these types of fomites (objects that can transfer virus) are less likely to lead to infection, but it is a simple measure that may help reduce your risk.]

✓ SANITIZE ANY ITEMS YOUR CHILD BROUGHT TO SCHOOL
Be sure to clean any items your child brought with them to school with a sanitizing wipe or 70% alcohol based hand rub.
If your child brought a packed lunch to school, wash any containers they used in the dishwasher or with a dish soap.

✓ REGULARLY SANITIZE HIGH-TOUCH SURFACES IN THE HOME
You should also take daily precautions to avoid the spread of COVID-19, such as sanitizing commonly touched surfaces around the home  (doorknobs, light switches, tables, etc.) as well as objects and surfaces that children commonly touch (kid-height objects, play areas, toys, objects in their room, etc.).  For information on what other daily precautions to take, visit this link
For additional information, visit this link.

Comments are closed.