Back To School - Dos and Don'ts
Created by Dr. Sandhya Ramanathan Updated on Sep 08, 2021
With schools reopening in several cities, how prepared are you?
Are you planning to send your child to school?
Do you have a checklist ready for reopening?
Are you aware of the precautionary measures you should take to keep your child protected?
Also, is your school ready?
We are seeing an exponentially increase in the rates of infection and number of cases in children largely who are largely not vaccinated. With strong circulation virus mutation, it is not safe to send children to school, especially if the risk mitigation factors are not followed.
Through the pandemic, we have learnt the importance of preparedness, of checklists, of precautions, and that prevention is better than cure. These Back-to-School Tips will help you keep your child protected.
Preparations schools need to do - Risk mitigating Factors
- Masking - Masking is very effective in curbing the spread of the virus. A lot of people who are spreading the virus are not coughing or sneezing and are asymptomatic. There are also Covid aerosols suspended in air and so masking and washing hands is a must.
Get your child to wear a N95 or N-99 mask and teach how to wear it right. Learn how to go about it here https://www.parentune.com/parent-blog/how-to-get-your-children-to-wear-mask/5293.
- Ventilation & Filtration - Good ventilation to allow outdoor air to dilute indoor air is important as is filtration as Covid aerosols may remain suspended in air for a long period. And so Ventilation has a crucial role to play.
Ideally, HEPA filters in classrooms ensure that filtered air is in circulation, thereby removing the aerosols. Classrooms should have CO2 monitors. Please ask your school for their readiness on adequate ventilation, CO2 monitoring, and Air filtration in schools. Schools should switch their central air conditioning to 100% Outdoor air ensuring air circulation. Others should secure the best possible ventilation in each classroom. Toilets should have exhaust fans installed and should be flushed regularly. It’s important that the ventilation is switched on 2 hours before and till after the class. Open windows, doors as much as possible through the class and even in breaks.
- Vaccination - Vaccination helps prevent the spread of disease and hence it is a must for everyone. The trials for vaccinations are underway in India, and like in countries like US, Israel, UK, India would also have the vaccination for children from 12 till 18years of age. Zydus Cadila has announced that they are in advanced stages of a nasal vaccine for children. Keep a close watch, and ensure that your child gets vaccinated once the drive starts.
- Physical Distancing : Maintain a physical distance of 6 meters between each other at all times, especially while having meals, as children will not be wearing the masks while having their meals. Eating meals outside in the open at a distance of 6 meters from each other is the best option.
Don’ts parents need to watch out
- Not following rules - Make sure that your child is being looked after - their health and their risk profile and comorbidities have to be paid attention. Make sure the rules are followed in school. In case your child has any comorbidities, then you should opt in for a Hybrid or Online learning model till your child gets vaccinated.
- Low immunity - It is important to take measures to increase immunity.
- Don’t send your child to school if they are sick
Tips for schools - Covid-19 rules for students
- Don’t ignore the recommendations and take them very seriously
- Make sure the environment we are exposing them to is safe and the least risky environment.
- School should protect the child as well as the teacher.
- Make sure children are not doing any physical activity in closed spaces.
- Follow social distancing guidelines for schools and other Guidelines on school safety.
Contract Tracing: Safety precautions at school are a must. Ask your school if they have a contract tracing protocol in place. In case they don’t, please create a group between school parents and keep a close tab in case of any reported infection. In case your child comes in contact, please quarantine immediately. In case your child is feeling unwell or showing any symptoms, please don’t send them to school.
Watch this video and get answers to your queries and ways to reduce the risks of infection for your child.
You can also watch this video on Precautions to take when sending your child to school with safety tips by Nitin Pandey, Founder, Parentune who talks of the precautions you must keep in mind when sending your child to school.