This summer has been one for the books with outdoor festivals, days spent at the beach and even lifted COVID-19 restrictions. But all good things must come to an end, including the summertime season.
With the school year right around the corner and new restrictions coming out on in-person learning, it can seem daunting for parents to try to prepare their children for another year of school. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend all schools conduct in-person learning this year with strictly implemented prevention strategies.
This school year will be challenging with young children starting school for the first time, students who have been learning remotely come back and those who have forgotten all protocols over the summer returning in-person. There are several protocols and practices that parents can do at home before the big day to prepare their children for school.
Here are some tips and tricks to remember when going back to school.
During the summer, many children didn’t have to practice social distancing and may have forgotten how to distance themselves from others. One thing parents can do is turn it into a game. Involve the whole family! Start out by measuring out at least three feet of space from one child to the next using either a piece of tape or a broomstick to indicate how far away they must be. Practice social distancing in different scenarios like at the park or in the backyard until each child grasps the distance needed between people.
If you have an active child, then it may be a good idea to practice techniques they can do while sitting at their desks. Some ideas children can partake in are standing next to their desks and practicing toe touches, jumping jacks or even short walks around the desk, if the teacher allows it. Another would be to practice seated arm and leg stretches that they can do from their chairs. Talk with your child’s teacher first to make sure they’re allowed to practice these methods.
Shop around to find cute and comfortable child face masks that little ones want to wear all day. Look for ones that bring kids joy or feel the best (grab a bunch so if one gets lost, they have backups). Practice wearing them in the house during play time or while watching TV so that they get comfortable wearing them for long periods of time again. Teach them how to wear it properly, making sure the mask covers both the nose and mouth.
This is a big one that all children must learn so that they are safe and healthy during the school day. Teach your children how to properly wash their hands using soap and water every day. Make up a catchy song or sing the ABCs while showing them how to wash underneath the nails, around the palms, on the back of the hands, etc. Another good tip to learn is how to properly use hand sanitizer. Buy a travel-sized bottle and even a cute carrier so that it’s fun to use it when needed.
Parents, this one is for you! Check in every morning with your children before school to see if they have any COVID-19 symptoms or even any other sicknesses. If they exhibit signs of fever, runny nose, cough, sore throat, shortness of breath, fatigue, muscle aches, nausea or vomiting, diarrhea, poor appetite, new loss of taste or smell or more, then keep them home. It may help to start a wellness chart and mark off how they’re feeling each day.