Are you ready to go back to school?
Mommies around the world have common sentiments about the opening of school. Are we going back to school during the pandemic? Is it safe?
I have been reading posts from different mommy groups expressing their anxieties with the opening of school. And it all ends up to “What can we do then?” A question answered by a question because the decision is not in our hands.
With the government plans for each of the states and countries, if parents cannot do homeschooling, then we need to follow the Government implementation plan. And therefore, as mothers, we need to prepare our children and know the essential recommendations to ensure safety.
Opening of Schools in Qatar
Government and private schools will open on September 1 for students, and school staff will resume on August 19.
The Government confirms that there is a strong collaboration and guidelines to ensure that children will be able to resume school safely.
Learn more about Phase 3 of Gradual Lifting of Restrictions in Qatar
Is it safe to go back to school during the pandemic
The world has seen the effects of COVID-19, and we can’t blame mommies for being scared for the health of their children. However, evidence suggests that children and adolescents are having a low risk of acquiring symptoms and infections. Several studies also show that it is less likely that children will become infected or become the source of infection. This information may be helpful for mommies to lessen a few of their anxieties.
Learn more about the guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics https://www.aappublications.org/news/2020/07/10/schoolreentrysafety071020
Safety tips for going back to school during the pandemic
It seems like the government will proceed with the plan and we cannot do anything about changing it. However, as parents, there are ways that we can do to protect our children.
Maintaining appropriate distance is easier said than done, but this is very important to prevent transmission. It is ideal to have 6 feet apart to prevent the spread of infection. However, 3 feet desk spacing can be beneficial, especially if children are going to wear a mask.
Additional recommendation: Whenever possible, outdoor spaces can be used primarily with meals where children will not be able to use a mask.
School children are receptive to teaching proper hand hygiene, and yes, most of the time, they overdo it and this should be an advantage. Teach the appropriate technique of handwashing and sanitizing. Note that hand sanitizers can cause skin dryness, prolonged, and overuse may lead to dermatitis.
Frequently observe your children’s skin for any signs of dermatitis.
Wearing of Mask
It will be beneficial for preschoolers and elementary students to wear a mask, especially if they will comply not to touch their nose and mouth. However, with their nature, it will be a challenge and may increase the risk of contamination. Secondary students should wear a mask at all time, considering that it is challenging for them to keep a safe distance.
Teach your children to stay on the desk while eating; the AAP also suggests having small groups outdoor can be beneficial instead of crowded lunchrooms.
Make sure that drivers wear masks correctly. The loading capacity of the bus should be reduced as per the Government’s guidelines. However, it is always best to find other ways of transportation to minimize exposure to the crowd.
Boost the immunity of children by providing healthy meals and vitamin supplements. Make sure that children have enough sleep and rest.
Although there is no vaccine yet for COVID-19, having a flu shot before the opening of schools will still benefit children from other strains of influenza.
Emotional support in the opening of schools
Older children are aware of the concept of illness and death. They are, for sure aware of the seriousness of COVID-19, and the opening of schools may also be stressful for them. Provide emotional support and accurate information to your children. Provide opportunities for children to express themselves and ask about the “new normal” and opening of schools.
Some children have chronic illnesses or immunity diseases; it is best to reconsider continuing distance learning.
Classroom routine changes in the opening of schools
Parents are partners of school in educating and protecting school children. As a mother, you should be able to see these precautions or recommendations in the school. Here are some recommendations from AAP.
- Have teachers move instead of children
- Keep the doors of the classroom open to reduce contamination of the doorknobs (whenever applicable)
- Outdoor activities are encouraged
- I am marking the hallways with one-way arrows.
- Provide extra space for activities such as singing, dancing, and exercising.
- Follow CDC guidelines on cleaning and disinfection.
The “new normal” of going back to school during the pandemic creates stress and anxieties for both parents and children. However, knowing and doing the recommended practice to prevent infection is the best way to face the changes. Prepare your children for what is ahead and provide emotional and behavioral support as the opening of schools resume
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