School resumption is around the corner, even though it will be skeletal. There is need for parents to be sure of their children’s safety.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), information available showed that the COVID-19 has a limited direct impact on children’s health.
It accounts for about 8% of the cases reported from different countries. Very few deaths have occurred as regards children.
However, the role of children in transmitting the disease is not yet known. Also, very few outbreaks have been reported in children in schools.
According to UNICEF, around 1.6 billion students around the world have been out of school as a result of COVID-19.
In Nigeria, all schools were shut and it has been over 5 months.
We know that education and health are interlinked, and this is why some children come back home from school ill.
At this time, what we do in our homes and outside our homes are very vital in keeping the children safe.
What Parents Should Do As Schools Resume
WHO has released several guidelines that parents can adopt to help ensure the safety of children.
Reinforce the guidelines on hand washing, use of nose mask and how to keep physical distance. It should be done in a fun way as much as possible.
Parents and Caregiver’s Responsibilities
The school resumption has also put a burden on the shoulders of parents and this was also emphasised in WHO’s guideline.
Truly, this hand washing thing is not our style and it is not easy for a child to just sustain this habit.
As a result, parents are required to, at all times, remind the child to wash his or her hands as often as possible.
It is recommended that the hand washing should be frequent and last at least 20 seconds.
Sadly, it is difficult to know if a child has contracted COVID-19 since the symptoms of COVID-19 such as cough or fever can be similar to those of the flu, or the common cold, which are a lot more common.
We are in a period of cold and flu could come.
However, for precaution, parents are to pay very close attention to their child to know if the child is sick.
Do not leave the responsibility to a nanny.
School Resumption Guideline For Parents
WHO recommends that “if your child is sick, keep them home from school and notify the school of your child’s absence and symptoms.
“Request reading and assignments so that students can continue learning while at home. Explain to your child what is happening in simple words and reassure them that they are safe.
“Monitor your child’s health and keep them home from school if they are ill.
“Teach and model good hygiene practices for your children.
“Wash your hands with soap and safe water frequently. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitiser with at least 60% alcohol.”
Some of the other things that parents should do to keep their child safe is to encourage them to cough and sneeze into their elbow and avoid touching their face, eyes, mouth and nose.
If your child is not the type that asks questions, it is time to encourage that that child to ask questions.
Remind them to always express their feelings with you and their teachers.
It is a period that could be stressful, including emotional stress and this could make a child ill.
Have you read: School Resumption: Tips For Your Child’s Health
Finally, WHO recommends that you coordinate with the school to receive information and ask how you can support
school safety efforts (though parent-teacher committees or association).
WHO’s Guidelines For Schools
- Sick students, teachers and other staff should not come to school
- Schools should enforce regular hand washing with safe water and soap, alcohol rub/hand sanitizer or chlorine solution and, at a minimum, daily disinfection and cleaning of school surfaces
- The Schools should provide water, sanitation and waste management facilities and follow environmental cleaning and decontamination procedures
- Schools should promote social distancing (a term applied to certain actions that are taken to slow down the spread of a highly contagious disease, including limiting large groups of people coming together)
The world health body also recommends that the beginning and end of the school day should be staggered.
- Cancelling assemblies, sports games and other events that create crowded conditions
- When possible, create space for children’s desks to be at least one metre apart
- Teach and model creating space and avoiding unnecessary touching
Also, it emphasised the need for schools to ensure that soap and safe water are available at age-appropriate hand washing stations.
In this COVID-19 era, it will be a wrong decision for parents to leave the safety of their children solely in the hands of the school administration.
Questions Parents Should Ask Schools
Basically, the questions should centre on:
What arrangements have been made to quickly identify an ill teacher or student?
What arrangement has been made for regular hand washing by students, teachers and other staff?
Are there hand sanitisers or chlorine solution in the toilets, classrooms, halls, and near exits where possible?
Is there an arrangement for daily disinfection and cleaning of school surfaces?
What is the arrangement for proper waste management and cleaning of the environment?
What is the school stance on social distancing and how would it be observed?
Is nose mask or face shield compulsory or not?
Will school observe usual assembly ground procedure?
Foods And Drinks For School Resumption
The school resumption has also come with guidelines on food and drink that the children must come to school with.
Exclusion of sweetened drinks is one great thing. It is an opportunity for children to have a healthier life.
The best that parents can do now is to give their children fruits and vegetables. These healthy foods will help them stay healthy and boost their immune system.
make them come in form of smoothies and you can filter it well to reduce the amount of fib re in it sine that could be a put of for the child.
Sweeten a little with honey. The addition of honey further boosts the poser of the smoothie to keep the child healthy.
Bottom line is that they need their immune system to overcome any form of germ that they may come in contact with.
Kindly share this article with your friends and loved ones so they will know what they need to do as schools resume.