9 Tips on Protecting Your Kids from Viruses this School Season

While there are schools and universities that have decided to go for remote learning or a mix of online and face-to-face to sessions, there are others pushing through with in-person classes. These schools have guaranteed to follow proper sanitation procedures, including having CoViD-19 program coordinators, social distancing markings, smaller class sizes, and different lunch time periods, among others. However, if all these could still not ease your worries sending your kid to back to school, it is best if you reinforce them with your own standards.

Aside from making sure that your kids have mini hand sanitizers clipped onto their backpacks at all times, here are other tips on how you can keep you keep them safe during this coming school season:

1. Know your kids’ temperature before he goes to school.

Although schools may take students’ temperatures at the door, it is always best for you to know that your kid does not have a fever before he even steps out of your door. You can make this a ritual every day, so you don’t forget.

If you want further reassurance, then you can invest on an oxygen saturation monitor. This will measure the oxygen in the blood, a decrease in saturation of which is usually an early sign of CoViD-19 infection, even before one becomes symptomatic.

2. Don’t let them take the school bus.

If your home is just close enough to school to walk or take a bike, then don’t let your kid ride the school bus. You can arrange for him to go to school with other socially distanced kids and have an older child or a parent lead them.

3. Pack their lunches inside brown bags instead of lunch bags.

While schools may provide contact-free cafeteria food, it might be safer if you will have him bring food you prepared yourself. At this time, it is also best if you will forgo using reusable lunch bags or boxes and use those brown bags instead. As they can easily be disposed of, they are more sanitary to use.

4. Have them practice handwashing at every transition during a school day.

Before school even starts, have your kid practice washing his hands whenever necessary. Teach him the proper amount of time needed to wash off all the germs away like singing the birthday song twice ‘til the end. Help him make it a habit. Tell him that when he’s at school, he should wash his hands not just after he touches stuff or after going to the rest room. He should also do it when he arrives, enter a classroom, or the lunchroom.

5. Invest in the right masks and have them worn at all times.

Buy washable cloth face masks. It is even better if you will get ones that show off your kid’s personality as they will be wearing these for some time. One good thing about not using a disposable mask is you can be sure it won’t be mixed up with the masks of other students. Plus, if you bought your kid a mask with his favorite movie character or superhero, you can be sure that he will not lose it.  

6. Have them shower when they arrive home.

 

Kids can become super carriers and spreaders of viruses. So, it is best if you have your kid take a shower and get a change of clothes as soon as they arrive home from school. Even if your kid is very cautious about washing his hands and not touching his face, you can never be too sure.

7. Clean your kids’ stuff when they get home from school.

It is always best to assume that your kid can bring any contaminated thing from school and this can be his school supplies, shoes, clothes, or backpack. Because of that, you have to take extra precautions in making sure everything is sanitized and safe. Below are five of the most important things you need to pay attention to and clean every time your kid comes home:  

• Backpacks

These tend to be toted around everywhere, thrown on the floor, and can even come in contact with other kids. This is why you should have your kid leave his backpack at the door or in the car.   Have your kid take out whatever he needs from his bag for homework and then have him leave it in a separate area from your home. Make sure it is cleaned at least once a week and even disinfected, as long as its care instructions says it won’t harm its fabric. It is also better if you allow the backpack to dry in the sun, if the weather is good.

• Lunch Boxes

If you really have to use lunch boxes, then make sure it is given a good wash at the end of the day and a deep cleaning at least once a week. If these are made of fabric, then throw these into the laundry. A gentle wash once a week is recommended, but it is ideal for them to be sprayed or wiped off with disinfectant every day.

• Electronic Devices

Computers, laptops, tablets, iPhones, iPads, and other electronic devices are used most often and could be some of the dirtiest stuff we keep around the house and ourselves. So, it is important that you provide protective cases for your kid’s devices and have him clean these when he gets home. Just be sure to read the instructions on how to clean these, so they will not be harmed in any way and teach your kid how.

 

• School Supplies

Homework is part of a student’s life and with this comes books and other supplies they need to bring into your home. To ensure your kid’s safety, make sure to wipe these down

before they are used. This especially vital if you need to help him with his schoolwork and will be handling his school stuff and books as well. Once your kid is done with his homework and you are done helping him, wash your hands before moving on to other chores.

 

• School Clothes and Shoes

Have your kid leave his school shoes outside, then have him take off his clothes and take a shower as soon as he arrives. His clothes should be placed in a hamper containing only clothes worn outside and if possible, should be laundered immediately. This will help to ensure that the germs your kid might have gotten from school won’t get into your home.

8. Tell them the difference between physical and social distancing.

Although social distancing is widely used these days, this does not necessarily mean actually distancing yourself or your kids from others socially. You can still have your kids see a few of their friends who have been practicing physical distancing or have been quarantining themselves effectively. You can even allow them to walk or bike to and from school together as long as they have learned how to be together, but still maintain a safe distance from each other.

9. Teach them to be kind, even as they do their best to stay safe.

It is important for your kids to understand that even if we are living in uncertain times, it is not a cause for bullying or humiliating those who may have contracted the virus or have family members who are sick. Lead by example. Show them how to treat people the right way.

 

There is no easy way around getting your kids back to school safely, except to exercise stringent measures every day. With the tips mentioned above, maybe you will breathe easier knowing that you have done all you can to keep your kids protected in school and at home.