#childsafety | Safety tips for returning to school during COVID-19

Schools should encourage routines that encourage frequent hand-washing and following good hand hygiene practices, such as asking children to cover their mouths and noses with their elbows or tissues when they cough or sneeze and then washing their hands.

If your child attends in-person schooling, develop daily routines before and after school that foster healthy habits, such as packing a back-up face mask and hand sanitizer in the morning and washing their hands as soon as they come home.

Clean and disinfect

Whether your child is being schooled at home or at school, cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces can help reduce the risk of illness. This includes frequently touched items such as doorknobs, faucets, keyboards, tablets and phones. Stay home if sick.

You should monitor your child each day for signs of COVID-19. These include:

• Fever

• Runny nose

• Cough

• Fatigue

• Muscle aches

• Vomiting

• Diarrhea

Some schools may recommend daily temperature readings as a part of COVID-19 symptom screening. But since many of these symptoms overlap with other conditions, such as the common cold, allergies and influenza, the effectiveness of this screening can be limited.

To limit the spread of COVID-19, as well as other germs, children should stay home from school and other activities if they have any signs of illness or a fever. Contact your health care provider if you have questions.

Don’t skip vaccinations

Whether classes are happening at school or at home, make sure your child is up to date with all recommended vaccines. All school-age children should get a flu shot each season. Although the flu shot does not protect against COVID-19, it can reduce the risk of the flu and its complications. It’s another layer of defense to help prevent missed school days.

Exposure

• If your child will be attending in-person school, take steps to be prepared for possible exposure to COVID-19 and changing scenarios.

• Develop a plan to protect family and household members who are at risk of severe illness, such as those with compromised immune systems or chronic conditions.

• Make sure that your emergency contact information and school pickup and drop-off information is current at school. If that list includes anyone who is at risk of illness, consider adding an alternate contact.

• Find out how your school will communicate with families when a positive case or exposure to someone with COVID-19 happens and how they plan to maintain student privacy.


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