How to Prepare Your Children to Go Back to School
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to upend our daily life and the start of the new school year just a few weeks ahead, stress levels are running high for both parents and children.
School districts continue to weigh learning options for this school year, and we still don’t know when our kids will be back in the classroom. However, there are steps you can take as a parent to help prepare your children for in-person classes.
Know Where to Go in Case of an Emergency.
Structure Your Children’s Day
The first few weeks of school can be chaotic as kids learn to adjust to their new routines. Start by setting a wake-up and sleep time that applies to school days. This way, you can gradually teach your children to wake up earlier and go to bed at the same time every night.
When you wake them up in the morning, have them get dressed and eat breakfast as if they had to go to school.
Also, help your kids plan their day. Establish a schedule for them that includes chores, physical activities, study, and playtime.
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.
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.
- Teach them about social distancing. Personal boundaries are hard to understand for most kids, but as we get used to our new normal, teaching them about personal space is vital. Find creative ways for them to express how much they care about a classmate or teacher that doesn’t involve hugging or close contact.
- 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
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.
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.