2020 was a rough year for students because of the lack of in-person learning. They were sheltered away at home and did very little socializing with other children their age. This in-person learning is essential for students, and this Fall, parents and staff are grateful that their children will get the learning experience they deserve.
With the new school year starting, children will be physically heading back to school. With the worst pandemic behind us, there is still a fear that cases will spike again. Children can be exposed not only at school but in their own homes, as well. They can bring the virus to school and spread it among their classmates and the school staff, but they can also catch it at school and bring it home to their families. The threat of Covid is still very real, and the proper precautions need to be taken with the school systems.
The CDC recommends that all children ages 2 and up, parents and staff, wear masks in schools. The goal is to eliminate as much spreading of the virus as possible. Most schools are not allotted a lot of extra space for distancing their students. It is important to remember these guidelines when choosing a mask for your child:
- You must have access to masks that are specifically made for children. Adult males are much larger and leave space for respiratory droplets to enter and infect the child.
- Choose a mask that fits snuggly to the face but is not too tight. A mask that is too tight can hinder the child’s ability to breathe.
- It is also recommended that you choose a mask with wiring positioned along with the nose. The wiring can be bent and fitted to the child’s nose. Other masks without wire can fit too loosely to the top of the child’s face.
- Children should also be taught the proper way of wearing their masks. Some children may not like the feeling of the lower part of their face being covered, but we must reinforce this habit and explain why it is so important.
- Masks should not be touched or traded with other children.
- Children should be taught to wash and sanitize hands as often as needed.
Other Guidelines to Further Prevent the Spread of the Virus
The implementation of masks is a major weapon that can be used against the spread of Covid. Masks are the frontline defense at keeping everyone, as well as ourselves, protected. The CDC also lists some other guidelines that further prevent the spread of the virus. These include social distancing, staying home when showing signs of infection, and cleaning disinfecting all areas of the schools.
When the pandemic first started, the social distancing guidelines stated that every person should keep at least 6 feet from one another. With the complete understanding that schools do not have the space to adhere to these guidelines, schools are encouraged to keep children at least 3 feet apart. When it is impossible to maintain the distance of 3 feet between children, other precautionary methods like masks should already be implemented to help prevent transmission of the virus.
Stay Home When Showing Symptoms
Another crucial part of keeping all students and staff safe is adhering to the guidelines for quarantining. If a person shows any signs or symptoms of the virus, they need to quarantine themselves and get tested immediately. Attending school while showing symptoms of the virus only puts everyone else in danger. This should not be taken lightly.
Disinfecting and Sanitizing
Along with wearing masks and social distancing, a key part in preventing the spread of the virus is disinfecting and sanitizing areas exposed to the students and staff. The virus can live on surfaces, and when touched by an individual, the virus can then be spread to them.
Local communities should be keeping a close eye on the cases occurring in their areas. They should always be aware of any spikes in numbers and take the measures needed to prevent further spreading. To staff and students, screening tests should be occurring in the schools to ensure that infection isn’t present.
In-person learning for students is so vital for their education and success in life. The staff and students should follow the CDC guidelines this school year to ensure the best possible learning environment for children. Each guideline is essential, but each individual’s first and last line of defense is wearing their mask.