One thing remains certain despite the times: keeping children healthy, safe, and happy is everyone’s priority. There are a few healthy habits that can be touched upon to help ease back into the school year.
Cover your nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing. Do this either with a tissue or your inner elbow. Always be sure to wash your hands after coughing or sneezing!
Due to the circulating and highly contagious Delta variant, CDC recommends universal indoor masking by all students (age two and older), staff, teachers, and visitors to K-12 schools, regardless of vaccination status. Wearing a face mask helps prevent the spread of viral illnesses that spread from person to person by respiratory droplets, which are projected when you cough, sneeze, talk and sing. Masks act as a barrier from spreading and inhaling droplets. Below are some tips to make the transition easier:
- Give kids the opportunity to pick their own mask
- Practice makes perfect
- Make sure masks fit properly and are comfortable
Washing hands is one of the best ways to prevent the spread of germs. There is never a wrong time to take a moment and wash your hands, but below is a shortlist of opportune times to do so.
- After blowing one’s nose, coughing, or sneezing
- Before eating and cooking
- When using the bathroom
- When getting home from school
- After being outside (playing, gardening, walking the dog, etc.)
Helps kids learn about hand washing by using this printable coloring sheet we created about the importance of washing your hands
Don’t forget, if warm water and soap aren’t available, use hand sanitizer! Hand sanitizer is available in various sizes, container shapes, and scents, too. You can even put one in your child’s school backpack for safekeeping.
Daily Health & Symptom Checks
Returning to school during the COVID-19 pandemic may take some getting used to. Check with your school district for new student routines. If your child has all, or some, in-person classroom learning, it is important to conduct daily COVID-19 health screenings. Before sending your child to school, parents and guardians are strongly encouraged to monitor their children for COVID-19 symptoms daily:
- Fever or chills
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Muscle or body aches
- New loss of taste or smell
- Sore throat
- Congestion or runny nose
- Nausea or vomiting
This list does not include all possible symptoms. The CDC will continue to update this list as we learn more about COVID-19. Visit the CDC COVID-19 Symptoms page for the most up-to-date information on COVID-19 symptoms.
If your child experiences these symptoms or has been in close contact with someone suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19, do not send your child to school. Reach out to school officials to find out next steps.
Immunizations & Physical Exam
It is essential that your child is up to date on vaccinations prior to the first day of school. Vaccination requirements can vary by state, so make sure to check with your state health department for a current list. In addition, physicals are an important tool when it comes to your child’s school health and wellness. Although not always required, it is a smart idea to get a physical before the start of the school year. All ClearChoiceMD Urgent Care centers offer $20 school and sport physicals with no appointment necessary. We also offer a variety of common vaccines, including Tdap, for your convenience. Contact your closest ClearChoiceMD center for more information.
Whether your family chooses to utilize in-person or virtual education programs, one thing remains true: routines and schedules help the transition from summer vacation to the school year go smoothly. Bedtime, morning, and after school routines help children know what is expected of them, and others. With so much unknown throughout the pandemic, kids will thrive with clear-cut expectations and boundaries.
The start of a new school year can be both exciting and nerve-racking. To ease new year jitters, talk with your child about their new back to school health, wellness and learning routines. Use our Back to School Checklist to get your child involved with planning.
As always, ClearChoiceMD Urgent Care is here for you when you need us, seven days a week!