With many schools having opened their doors to students this month, returning to school has taken on a new meaning altogether for parents and caretakers. As a parent, one of the biggest decisions to make right now is whether to let your child attend school physically or online. As a school authority, you are in charge of quite literally, the lives of students and staff in the midst of the ravaging COVID 19 pandemic.
Right now, almost everyone has ideas on how the schools should tackle this issue, but safety and hygiene remain the top priority for those going to campus. To be prepared for this situation, here are some main tips lined out for you and your kids:
Reinforce everyday precautions
You have already had the discussion several times before. What to lookout for, the symptoms, the distancing, and the masks. For all your efforts, you may still catch your child inadvertently flouting distancing rules when in public. Do sit down with your school-going children and have a reassuring talk about what is expected of them when attending classes.
Listen to their concerns
In this uncertain time, children may feel very vulnerable and anxious about what they’re about to face. Be available to listen and address any concerns that your child may have. Empathy and positive affirmations can go a long way in helping young minds cope with the situation.
Be informed and up-to-date about the school’s safety guidelines
Different states are providing different precautionary procedures and regulations to limit the spread of the virus. It is vital that schools are familiar with these regulations and implement the same. Be proactive in learning about the school’s policy and be sure on topics such as:
- What adjustments have been made in the classes, cafeterias etc. to maximize social distancing?
- Is there a masking policy for all students and staff?
- Will students still be using any shared equipment at school?
- Are emergency disposable face masks available for use by students who run out of masks or damage them?
- Are there frequent handwashing opportunities being given?
- Is there hand sanitizer and hand wash readily available?
- How are activities like sports carried out at school?
- What is a contingency plan in case somebody is tested positive for COVID-19?
Arm them with the most important tools – Hand washing, Face masks and Physical distance
Practice with your children on how to maintain a minimum of 6 feet. For elementary aged young ones, show them the right way to wash and sanitize their hands.
Face masks are proven and recommended by the CDC to limit the spread of germs. It is essential that all students keep their masks on over their nose and mouth at all times while in a crowded situation. There are mainly two kinds of masks being used: Disposable face masks and Cloth face masks.
Disposable Face Masks
The COVID-19 is spread through droplets expelled by the individual while sneezing, coughing, or talking. Make sure your child has enough and extra facemasks with them when they go to school. There are three types of disposable face masks presently available in the market. The N 95 face mask, the surgical face mask and the KN 95 facemask.
Pros of Disposable Face Masks
- These masks are made from layers of special synthetic fibers that are meant to stop particulate matter from going in or out of the mask covering. Hence, are more effective.
- Disposable face masks are designed to allow easy breathing unlike some cloth face masks.
- They are disposable so there is no hassle of school children bringing back used ones.
Cons of disposable face masks
It is easy to go through an entire box of disposable face masks pretty soon if you have more than one school going children.
Cloth Face Masks
Cloth masks can be made at home using multiple layers of breathable material. The CDC recommends the use of cloth face masks for schools.
Pros of cloth face masks
- Can be customized to fit snugly over your child’s mouth and nose.
- Can be reused after proper washing, i.e. less wastage and less expense.
- Available in a variety of fun and kid friendly prints.
Cons of cloth face masks
- If multiple layers of fabric are not used, it can reduce the effectiveness of the mask.
- Improper fabric may hinder the level of comfort a child feels while breathing through a cloth face mask.
Train kids to put on and take off a face mask using the ear loops. They should know not to touch their eyes nose or mouth in the process. At the end of the day, this is an unprecedented ‘first’ for carers, students, and schools alike. Trust your parental instinct to guide your decisions for your kids and your family.
Masks for Sale in the U.S.
Endeavor offers cloth and disposable masks to help keep your family safe! See our full list of mask options here.