Let’s face it, right now is a really weird time for all of us. It’s August and the usual back-to-school safety buzz isn’t really, well, buzzing. Many families are uncertain if their children will even be heading back to school during the COVID-19 pandemic. In many ways, the novel coronavirus has upended life for many students and parents. Right now, everyone has opinions on how schools should reopen and if it’s even safe for students to return for face-to-face learning.
In an ideal world, school districts would work with parents, public health experts and educators to determine the best way to reopen schools. However, that isn’t always the case. Whether your child returns to campus or stays home for distance learning, we’ve got tips on how best to handle each situation.
Back to School Safety During COVID-19: Tips for virtual learning
If your student is distance learning this year, consider following these four tips for virtual learning:
Ensure your child’s eye prescription is up to date. Depending on your school district’s curriculum, your child could spend several hours a day looking at a computer screen. If your child shows any sensitivity, such as headaches, adjust the blue light controls on your child’s device and ensure your child takes breaks at frequent intervals.
School districts that are providing devices for home use may already block any website that isn’t school approved. Most computers have some form of parental controls where you can blog websites and grant permissions to browse other sites. In addition, you can set your child’s computer to block the most sexually explicit and violent websites. You may also be able to limit the time your child is able to spend on the computer.
Check-in with your child’s mental health
If your school district gives you the option to keep your child home, then your child is likely missing their friends and going a bit stir crazy. Ask them questions about how they’re feeling and allow them to open up to you in a judgment-free zone.
Keep your child physically active
In addition to academics, school provides an outlet for kids to release their energy. From P.E. to recess to even simply walking the halls, school keeps kids physically active all day. It’s important for your child to find an outlet during the day that can help your child burn off some of the pent up energy they may be feeling.
What should I plan for if my district is only offering in-person learning?
While there are several districts that are allowing some flexibility in where your student learns, others are requiring in-person learning. If your child will be returning to campus this year, give them the safest back to school experience possible during the COVID-19 pandemic. If your child is returning to campus this year, download our Back to School Safety Checklist and read out our blog on child pedestrian safety.
Schedule your child’s annual check-up
Most people are trying to avoid doctor’s offices and clinics in hopes of avoiding COVID-19. However, even if you’ve opted to keep your child home, should you change your mind or if the school district begins in-person requirements again, you want to make sure your child is as healthy as they can be. Despite persistent misinformation, children can experience the worst of COVID-19. Call your child’s doctor and find out what they’re doing to separate sick patients and healthy patients, then schedule your child’s check-up.
Don’t send your child to school sick
Every year, parents need a reminder to keep their students home if they’re showing symptoms of any kind of illness. However, this year, keeping your children home is more important than ever. If your child has any of the following symptoms, keep them home:
- Sore throat
- Runny nose
- Muscle aches
Do not give your child fever-reducing medication and send them to school anyway.
Insist that your child has their own school supplies
Until there is a vaccine or herd immunity, gone are the days of communal school supplies. It’s important that your child has their own pencils, pens, crayons, scissors, etc… to help prevent the spread of germs and the novel coronavirus.
Stock up on masks
Whether disposable or reusable, studies have consistently shown that masks do reduce the transmission of COVID-19. If your student is going to return to campus, it’s important to have spare masks just in case.
Stock up on hand sanitizer too
The goal is to reduce the spread of sharing as much as possible. Kids should have access to alcohol-based hand sanitizer that kills most types of bacteria, viruses and fungi. Even if there is a classroom bottle, your child should have their own hand sanitizer. Pay attention to the label, make sure you’re buying FDA-approved products. Avoid these dangerous hand sanitizers that the FDA has found to contain deadly ingredients.
Moms have all sorts of stations to help keep their children organized during the school year. It might sound crazy, but experts recommend “disinfecting” when you return from a gathering of any sort. This means, removing clothing and shoes and placing them in a designated place for disinfecting.
With Carlson, you’re never alone.
Despite the novel coronavirus pandemic, we are still accepting new clients. For your safety and the safety of our staff, we are meeting clients in person on a very limited basis. However, we have the full technological capabilities to meet with you virtually or over the phone. Call us today to schedule a free, virtual consultation with a member of our legal staff.
If you’ve experienced a personal injury in an auto crash, slip and fall, dog bite, workplace injury or any other injury, give us a call today. Our entire legal team is ready to assist you through these unprecedented times. We urge you to take full advantage of our virtual meeting options and take a step toward getting the justice you deserve.