For some, back to school has already started and for others, back to school is on the horizon. For everyone, back to school is filled with extra decisions, concerns, and protocols as we help kids navigate different kinds of learning during COVID-19. Our team at Integrity Urgent Care wants to see kids staying healthy during their back to school time, no matter what year and no matter where they are learning. At the store, at the park, in classrooms, and in social settings, there are simple ways you can help protect your kids.
Wash Your Hands
This is the most basic and easiest to accomplish health tip, but it is also one of the most effective health tips. Frequent hand washing can lead to a 58% reduction in bacterial count. Teach your kids to scrub their hands with soap and water, showing them multiple sides of the hands and fingers they may not think of, and how to properly dry and dispose of their paper towel. Hands should be washed after using the restroom, before and after eating, and after playing outside, at a minimum.
Many schools and businesses are installing extra sanitizer stations which can help with preventing the spread of germs and illnesses, especially when hand washing stations aren’t available. Your school age kid may enjoy a special sanitizer that clips to their backpack or has a favorite scent, but make sure to teach them about how much to use and how long to let the sanitizer dry on their hands, it should take about 30 seconds for the sanitizer to dry.
Sharing is Not Caring
We always work to teach our kids how to share, but at this time there are ways to mitigate the spread of germs by encouraging students not to share items. By having their own supplies any potential germs can stay contained. Additionally, hats, dress up items, and other personal items should not be shared, not just for COVID reasons, but to prevent the spread of lice or other pests. We hope it goes without saying that masks should certainly not be shared and parents may want to write their child’s name on the inside of their mask with a fabric marker.
Stay at Home
If your child is showing any symptoms of any illness, they should stay home until they are clear of symptoms for 24 hours without the assistance of medication or until cleared by a doctor. According to the Mayo Clinic, the symptoms of COVID-19 vary widely and may include fever, runny nose or nasal congestion, a persistent cough, body aches, diarrhea, vomiting, sore throat, shortness of breath, and fatigue.
Practice, Practice, Practice
Some of these protocols are new for all of us and we all need practice to learn. Help students practice wearing a mask and removing it correctly by the ear loops. Encourage and model social distancing when out in public with your children and help them understand new terms they may not be as familiar with. If you are sending your child to school in person, support what the staff and administration is doing with your language and positivity!
With diligence and care, we can do a lot to protect our kids when they are at school and when they are with us. If they do get sick, our team will be there to diagnose and treat them to get them back on track. Our clinics are open every day of the week, from 8am to 8pm, come see us today.