Balancing Back-To-School with Keeping Kids Safe


Many schools are preparing to reopen this fall with new measures to help reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19.  This move is resulting in many parents worrying about their children’s safety. Experts say, however, their health will likely not be compromised as long as certain precautions are in place.

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine recently released a report highlighting safety precautions that should be implemented when schools reopen. According to the organization, all students and staff should wear face coverings and maintain proper hand washing protocols. Facility upgrades, reconfigured classes and enhanced cleaning protocols are also important. The news release also indicated that schools should be prepared for possible closures should there be further outbreaks or spread of virus. Public health officials are encouraged to work closely with schools, so they can monitor and recommend changes to the strategies if needed.

The American Cancer Society released a three-step back-to-school guide for parents. The first step, according to the society, is to ensure that children and teens receive recommended vaccinations on time. These vaccines are important since they protect the children against certain diseases and prevent outbreaks. This is important during usual times and even more so during a pandemic as the novel coronavirus is not the only germ that is spreading now. Other disease-causing viruses with the potential of causing outbreaks are also present.

The second step involves preparing healthier snacks and lunches. Giving children and teens healthier food options can help them develop healthy eating habits and the nutrients from the vegetables, fruits and other healthy foods can help boost their immune system.

Finally, the third step is ensuring children and teens get enough sleep. Kids who do not get enough sleep tend to have higher stress levels, according to research. And too much stress could lead to physical and mental health problems, and make learning at school difficult.

Preschoolers Children are photographed crossing the street. Photo courtesy of Reuters/Kevin Lamarque

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