How to Keep Kids Healthy When They Return to School

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As summer wears on, parents everywhere are starting to plan for their children’s return to school. While the COVID-19 pandemic may still disrupt the upcoming school year and force kids to stay home once again, many families are making back-to-school plans that include ways to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Any parents who are facing even the slightest possibility of sending their kids to school need to be equipped with these prevention methods. Take a look at the tips below to learn how you can best protect your little ones from COVID-19, and other viral illnesses, if they are returning to school this fall.

Go to Annual Check-Ups

At the beginning of the pandemic, most medical facilities only made in-person appointments for essential reasons. Now that medical professionals have a better idea of how to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, many doctors have opened their facilities back up and can accommodate run-of-the-mill appointments, such as annual physicals and check-ups. If your child has an annual appointment coming up, resist the urge to reschedule it.

Well visits give doctors the opportunity to evaluate your child’s development and provide scheduled vaccinations. The vaccinations are especially important, as social distancing regulations are beginning to relax in many locations and children need to receive immunizations for vaccine-preventable diseases on time. Annual visits also give doctors the chance to offer intervention for any concerns they or you have. Although about 72% of adult internet users say they’ve searched online for information about health issues, your family doctor will always have more reliable information than the world wide web. Before you go to the doctor’s office, call them to ask about the COVID-19 safety precautions they’re taking so that you can feel confident that you and your family will be safe when visiting the doctor.

Keep Kids Home If They’re Sick

Keeping children home from school is an important step to prevent the spread of any kind of cold or flu, but it is especially important during this pandemic. There are many symptoms for COVID-19, ranging from having diarrhea to losing your sense of taste. If your child is feeling even remotely ill, keep them home for the day. This is especially important if they have a fever, which normally ranges anywhere between 100.4 and 104 degrees Fahrenheit. In an effort to keep an outbreak from occurring, many schools will likely be reminding students, teachers, and staff that a fever in that range or any other of the common COVID-19 symptoms warrant a day off from school.

Have Your Kids Wear Face Masks

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend that children two years and older wear a cloth face covering over their nose and mouth whenever they’re in public settings. Face masks have proven to be key in preventing the spread of the coronavirus and may also make a difference in schools. Stores and designers everywhere are now selling face masks in a variety of colors and patterns, so have your children pick out ones that they like. You may even be able to find masks with their favorite characters on them. Once they have a mask that they like, have them start wearing it more in the weeks before school begins. They’ll then be used to wearing a mask when school starts and you won’t have to struggle to get them to wear it when it’s most important.

Regularly Sanitize Their Belongings

Another COVID-19 prevention method that the CDC has been recommending is regularly cleaning and disinfecting high-touch surfaces in your home. When your children return to school, you’ll need to add their school supplies to the list of items you should sanitize. Cleaning every single one of their items every day may be slightly excessive, but you should develop a routine for regularly sanitizing items like folders, books, and pencils. Be sure to check with the school as well to see what disinfecting procedures they’re following this year.

Consider getting them a washable backpack before the school year begins so that you can easily clean that. You should also encourage your kids to change their clothes as soon as they get home from school and to put them in the hamper so that they’re ready to be washed as well. Not only can these strategies prevent your family from contracting COVID-19, but they can also protect you against the one billion colds Americans get every year. By taking the time to thoroughly clean and disinfect anything that comes back from your child’s school, your family might have the healthiest schoolyear yet.

The COVID-19 pandemic has probably thrown your family many curveballs this year. You’ve handled each of the curveballs so far and you’ll be able to handle getting your kids safely back to school as well. Remember to remain vigilant about the health of every one of your family members as well as yourself and you’ll make it to the other side of this pandemic.

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