How to Keep Kids Safe and Healthy this Fall
The back-to-school season is always a hectic time for parents and children, but this year has found itself a bit more intimidating than previous years. This fall comes with several unfamiliar and unusual concerns and choices for parents. We hope that our conversation with Dr. Andrew Koehler will help ease your mind when it comes to keeping your children safe and healthy. It is essential to know that there is no way to flawlessly handle this fall semester, but by following CDC guidelines and other directions from the state and school, you can protect your kids and other families.
As many already know, keeping your children safe and setting them up for success starts at home. That will not be changing this fall. Make sure your children are eating healthy meals and snacks, getting plenty of rest, and staying on top of their schoolwork.
There are, however, more precautions you can take in the current environment. For starters, take your children’s temperature every morning before school, and look for any other symptoms. This is not the year to be sending children to school with symptoms of illness. Two other things you can do to help keep your family healthy are encouraging your children to wash their hands more often than usual and clean their lunch boxes more often.
Another way that you can protect your children is by ensuring that they wear masks. This might prove to be one of the more challenging pieces of protocol, as your children likely are not used to wearing masks, and you’ll be asking them to keep it on all day at school while you are not there. To make this transition easier, begin acclimating them to wearing a mask before school starts. A few hours here and there can help them get used to wearing a mask all day. It is also essential to find the right mask for them. Masks come in all different sizes and styles, and the first one your child picks up may not be the best fit for them. Try a few different masks to ensure they will remain comfortable all day.
Hand sanitizer is also an ally in the fight to protect your family. The CDC recommends using a hand sanitizer that is at least 60% alcohol to fight against germs. With the additional use of hand sanitizer and washing hands more often, your child’s hands might dry out more quickly than usual. Include a pocket-sized hand lotion with the hand sanitizer that you throw in their backpack to mitigate this.
It is also crucial that you keep an eye on your child’s emotional health. The added rules and protocols can weigh heavily on children who rely on regular routines. This can affect children who do not typically experience emotional and behavioral issues often. Check-in with your children if they seem withdrawn or if they develop new emotional reactions. Do not hesitate to contact your physician if you are worried.
As mentioned previously, no one will handle this fall perfectly. Still, you can help keep your family and other families safe by following protocol and listening to state and school authorities.