Back to School Tips for 2022
In honor of parents all over Texas who are scrambling to get their kids ready for school, here are some Back to School Tips for 2022. The start of the new school year just a few weeks ahead, stress levels are running high for both parents and children. Parents need all of the help they can get after a two-year long pandemic.
There are steps you can take as a parent to help prepare your children get back to classes.
Know Where to Go in Case of an Emergency.
Texas Schools Reopening Guidelines
Let’s begin our Back to School Tips for 2022 by getting to know the Texas Education Agency’s (TEA) reopening guidelines to know what to expect. According to the Texas Education Agency (TEA) new COVID-19 health guidance :
- Children and staff are not required to wear facemasks (this is entirely optional)
- Texas schools are not required to inform parents of positive COVID cases (contact tracing)
- They are required to notify it’s local health department
- Should a child have or be suspected of having COVID-19, “As provided in this Department of State Health Services (DSHS) Rule, school systems must exclude students from attending school in person who have or are suspected of having COVID-19, and must immediately notify parents if this is determined while on campus. As noted in the rule, exclusion shall continue until the conditions for re-entry are met:
- For children with symptoms, at least 5 days have passed since symptom onset, and fever free, and other symptoms have improved.
- Children who test positive for COVID-19 but do not have any symptoms must stay home until at least 5 days after the day they were tested.”
This past week, CNN reported on the upcoming COVID-19 recommendations from the CDC, “The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is expected to update its guidance for Covid-19 control in the community, including in schools, in the coming days, according to sources familiar with the plan.” Source: CNN
As we await the official announcement from the CDC, we would like to recap that children that had been exposed to the virus experienced “low transmission rates”, the data was derived from previous COVID-19 variants. As children tend to be either asymptomatic or very mild symptoms, they are still potential transmitters of the virus and can endanger those who have not been vaccinated. For this reason, the most important of our Back to School Tips for 2022 are for parents to take the necessary steps to help prevent and protect their children and their communities.
Teach Them How They Can Stay Safe
Kids are more aware of their surroundings than many of us think. They can feel the stress and anxiety of grownups, and they see the news. The problem is that they don’t always understand why things happen.
For this reason, it’s important to teach our kids, especially the smaller ones, how harmful germs spread, and how they can make us sick. The critical point, however, is also to teach them how they can keep themselves safe.
So, while you explain that virus and bacteria can enter their system when they touch their eyes, nose, or mouth with dirty hands, you also explain what they can do to keep safe.
- Help them create the habit of washing their hands with soap and water regularly. You can make up a fun song together or teach them how to blow soap bubbles while they wash their hands.
- Explain why they shouldn’t touch their faces (eyes, nose, and mouth) with unwashed hands. No need to scare them, simply remind them of how much fun they missed out on the last time they were sick.
While PPE is completely optional in Texas, for those parents who consider following the CDC’s recommendations, here are some tips on facemasks:
- Not sharing is caring. Children need to understand that Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) cannot be shared with anyone else. You don’t want to send your child to school with a Superman face mask only to have them return home with a Spiderman face mask.
- Instruct them on the proper way to wear PPE. Show your kids how to put on their face coverings, and how to remove them safely. Insist they always wash their hands before putting on or taking off their PPE
Other tips for preventing the spread of viruses:
- For current COVID-19 case counts across Texas, please visit the Department of State Health Services dashboard. If you are in a “hot spot” you will have a greater chance of exposure and transmission.
- Set up a mom’s network. While the schools may not be broadly reporting the COVID cases, a mom’s chat network can help keep parents informed.
- For parents with older kids (ages 12 and up), many school districts are hosting back-to-school COVID-19 vaccination campaigns. Should you wish to get your teen vaccinated, contact your local school district to find out which one may be near you.
- For younger children, parents may opt to “cocoon them in” which means that they take the steps to ensure that everyone in their close proximity is vaccinated and when they are around others who are not, they consider wearing facemasks and social distancing.
Kids don’t all feel the same way about school. Some love it and others not so much.
As parents, it’s important to point out the positive aspects of going to school. Bring up the friendship bonds they’ve developed at school, and always try to link their studies to their interests.
Most importantly, listen to your child. Talk openly about their concerns and fears about returning to school and reassure them that both you and their teachers will do everything you can to keep them safe.
Great Back to School Tips to Keep in Mind:
- Make sure that your child has all required vaccines up to date
- Seriously consider getting them COVID-19 vaccinated
- If your child is sick, keep them home to avoid the spread of illnesses
- Ensure that your child gets the right amount of sleep that they require for their age. According to the CDC,
|Age Group||Recommended Hours of Sleep Per Day|
|6–12 years||9 to 12 hours per 24 hours|
|13–18 years||8 to 10 hours per 24 hours|
- A good, healthy breakfast is key to start the day right. Make sure that your kids don’t skip breakfast and eat well during the day.
- Teach your child about the importance of proper hydration
- Maintain good communication with them.
- Do your best to set a great example. A family that stays active, eats right and makes health a priority stays healthier.
Schedule Check-Ups in Advance
Don’t leave your kids’ medical checkups for last. Call your doctor to schedule a routine checkup well ahead of the start of face to face classes. This way, you will have time to treat any minor condition that can compromise your child’s health at school.
Health and safety guidelines are continually changing, depending on how COVID-19 is spreading through our communities.
Therefore, establish communication channels with teachers, principals, and other parents to ensure you are up to date with all safety measures. Please keep in mind that as long as their are transmissions, the COVID-19 virus will continue to mutate. Together, we can help end the spread!
At Altus Emergency Centers, we know how much you love your children and how you always want what is best for them. That is why all our centers have special pediatric examining rooms, and medical professionals to treat your child when necessary.