Keep Kids Safe and Healthy This School Year
With the start of the new school year, many parents find themselves wondering… how can I continue to protect my child and family from the new threat that is now so prevalent? Since the arrival of COVID-19, most of us have been able to keep our children as safe as we can inside our homes, under our supervision, and away from heavily populated areas. But with St. Tammany Parish public schools reopening next week, and many private schools that have already reopened, children now face a higher risk of contracting and spreading COVID-19.
Schools are an important part of our community. Not only do they provide academics to our youth, but they play a critical role in learning social and emotional skills. Children also learn best when they attend classes in person. Our schools are doing their part in creating a safe environment for our kids. So, as we send our kids back to the classroom, it is more important than ever for us to teach them a number of steps that can help keep them healthy and safe.
Physical Distancing. Encourage your kids to keep 6 feet apart from other students and faculty. They should avoid sharing objects with other students, such as pencils or books.
Cloth Face Coverings/Masks. All children over the age of 2 years should wear a cloth face covering that covers both the nose and mouth. Have them pack an extra face covering as a back-up. And remember to wash them daily!
Hand Hygiene. Encourage frequent hand washing with soap and water and explain to them why it’s important. Let them pick out a favorite scented hand sanitizer to carry with them.
Temperature Checks. Monitor your child’s temperature before and after school. Keep them home if they are not feeling well or have an elevated temperature of 100.4 degrees or higher.
Cleaning & Disinfecting. Teach them to disinfect their bookbag, lunchbox, and any other items they bring back and forth to school daily.
Nutrition. Instead of eating the school lunch, consider packing a nutritional lunch and bottled water for them to bring and possibly lower their chances of being exposed.
Remember, it is important for families to emphasize and model healthy behaviors at home and to talk to your children about the changes they can expect this school year. With our support, we can make sure that they are informed, prepared, and more importantly – stay healthy.