How to prepare your family for the reopening of Treasure Coast schools
Get ready to pack your back-to-school crayons, folders and … hand sanitizer?
This back-to-school season is shaping up to be unlike any before. Across the Treasure Coast, as kids, parents, teachers, and schools gear up for the start of the 2020 school year, there is a lot of uncertainty about how to keep everyone safe amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
Whether your child is attending school in-person, online, or a hybrid of the two, there are steps you can take to help keep your family safe.
Here are the top recommendations from doctors and health experts:
If your child is attending school in-person:
Don’t send kids to school sick
You should monitor your child each day for signs of COVID-19. These include fever, runny nose, cough, fatigue, muscle aches, vomiting, and diarrhea. Some Treasure Coast schools recommend daily temperature readings as part of the symptom screening. If your child exhibits any COVID-19 symptoms, keep them home. Contact your healthcare provider if you have questions or concerns.
Opt for brown bag lunches
While most Treasure Coast schools will be offering contact-free cafeteria lunches, bringing food from home is safer. Dr. Mark Cucuzzella, a family physician and professor at West Virginia University School of Medicine, recommends ditching reusable lunchboxes and using disposable brown paper bags instead. “It’s more sanitary to put it in your own brown bag to just throw away,” he says.
Pack hand sanitizer
Board-certified pediatrician Dr. Candice W. Jones recommends every child having his or her own hand sanitizer to help reduce the transmission of germs in the classroom. Before sending your child to school, practice using hand sanitizer throughout the day.
Keep multiple masks on hand
Multiple health experts agree that students should have at least one or two spares with them daily in case their masks break or get dirty. Have your child practice wearing face masks now, before the school year begins. This will help kids gradually build up face covering ‘endurance’ and be able to wear a face covering for longer and longer periods of time.
Create a back-from-school protocol
Something else to consider as students head back to school is keeping your home as clean as possible. Dr. Jones suggests “disinfecting” kids as soon as they get home, including having them wash their hands, change out of their clothes and shoes, and taking a shower.
With all the uncertainty and anxiety that comes with the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s important to remain calm, positive and supportive of your child during these confusing times.
If your child is attending school online:
Help your child remain focused through the school day by eliminating distractions and limiting the use of devices, such as smartphones and tablets, until the schoolwork is done. Consider setting up a quiet, clutter-free workspace that is comfortable for your child.
Allow time for exercise
While some Treasure Coast schools will be having virtual PE classes, most of these classes will not be on a daily basis. Sitting in front of a computer all day can be taxing on your child. Dr. Linda Carling, an associate research scientist at the Johns Hopkins University School of Education Center for Technology in Education, recommends 5 to 10 minute “brain breaks” for children 14 and younger.
Help kids be cyber smart
Your child will be spending hours online every day. Have conversations with your child about online safety. Explain why it is important to be careful while online and teach them appropriate behavior. Ask your child about what they do online, such as what sites they visit and who they talk to. Depending on your child’s age, it may be a good idea to set parental controls and monitor their internet activity and social media accounts.
Provide positive feedback
When attending virtual school, your child may miss receiving reinforcement and reassurance from teachers and counselors. Building a reward system can help maintain motivation. After your child completes a task or finishes a class, consider praising them or acknowledging their hard work.
Have more questions?
If you have any other back-to-school questions, a school counselor or principal can ease your concerns. As the situation changes locally, schools may change in response. We learn more about the coronavirus every day. Get the latest guidance – with your family’s unique health conditions in mind – by scheduling an appointment with your primary care physician.
This Treasure Coast school year will look different, but we’re all in this together.
With Hoskins, Turco, Lloyd & Lloyd, you’re never alone
Here on the Treasure Coast, COVID-19 has impacted all of our lives, but the Law Firm of Hoskins, Turco, Lloyd & Lloyd has never stopped serving our clients and community. For both new and existing clients, we offer remote services so you can meet with us without ever coming into our office.
If you’ve experienced a personal injury in an auto crash, slip and fall, workplace injury or any other injury, give us a call today. We are ready to assist you through these unprecedented times. We urge you to take full advantage of our virtual meeting options and take a step toward getting the justice and compensation you deserve.
Contact us today at 866-930-6435 for a free consultation.