Covid-19 brought all our lives to a standstill, reducing it to a state of uncertainty. But, as we are getting closer to a nationwide vaccination drive, life seems to be getting slowly back on track. What still remains a challenge is how to keep our children safe. Now that schools are reopening in 2021 after a long tryst with online classes, parents are nothing but terrified about Covid safety for kids.
Reopening schools have left parents to question the myriad aspects to ensure their little ones stay secure in these trying times. To realize the magnitude of risk, parents need a few vital questions to be answered before they can make a judgement. What are the pros and cons of sending children back to school?
If you are one of those parents who constantly worry about this facet, you are right about it. But before you delve into it, we suggest you question these prime safety factors while deciding on sending children to schools in 2021:
Inquire the School about Covid Precautions: As a parent, it is your right and responsibility to inquire if the schools reopening after covid are equipped with necessary safety precautions. Most importantly, how are schools going to make the younger students adhere to the safety norms? Parents can visit the school to know about daily hygiene practices and the steps adopted by schools to screen the students.
Is the School Prepared for a Health Emergency: A crucial question that needs to be asked from schools reopening in 2021 is about their health emergency plan. How well is the school engaged in identifying the students or staff at high risk? What measures will be taken by the school in case someone contracts Covid? Is the communication between staff, students, and their parents transparent? These are a few questions you need to ask the school regarding their health emergency preparedness.
Access of Reliable Information for Students: Before sending your children back to school in 2021, ask the school if they have acquired sufficient and reliable information on Covid. Apart from this, how are the schools going to maintain that information flow to students?
As much as it is the school’s responsibility to maintain proper covid precautions for kids, parents can also play a crucial role . To avoid the spread of infection to others, parents should keep their kids home if they show any signs of discomfort. Children should also be encouraged to maintain personal hygiene.
Now returning to the most-awaited question, Is it safe to send your kids back to school? Parents will have to consider both sides of this coin before jumping to a conclusion.
Psychological Well-being: The virtual classrooms have brought down the emotional well-being of the students. No place to go out, and not having a face-to-face interaction with other students and teachers greatly impacts the child’s cognitive pattern. Reopening of schools after covid is expected to bring an intellectually positive result.
Reducing the ‘Non-return to School’ Risk: Student turn-out to schools will increase. It will increase their interest in studies, and they can move to the next class on a positive note.
Parents Get to Resume their Work: Working parents will finally get to concentrate on their professional front. With kids at home, parents had a hard time getting to normal office life. School-reopening will help parents get their life back on business.
Immunosuppressed at a Higher Risk: Children with a history of chronic illness such as asthma, obesity, or diabetes are at a higher risk of contracting Covid. Despite the covid precautions taken by schools, it is still a life-threatening situation for children with weaker immunity growth.
Covid for Kids and Family: Ask yourself if you have a family member above 60 years of age who is already at high risk. In such a situation, risk escalation involving children and the spread of Covid to family or community is high. School facilities, including ventilation and transport, might not be capable of adhering to the national health safety policy.
Desired Steps to Prevent the Spread of Covid: The steps to minimize the risk of Covid spread includes physical distancing, and the use of a mask or a shield for respiratory hygiene, availability of proper hand sanitizing facilities, on-call doctor presence for guidance, and a clean environment are vital elements. Whether a school has the provision for these is an important point to consider before sending kids to school.
Parents should engage in a thorough dialogue with the school regarding their safety precautions as it is a matter of health and hygiene for your precious little ones that cannot be taken for granted. Ask questions, and if you still feel skeptical, go ahead and visit the school premises.
Parents should also encourage their kids to ask relevant questions from them or their teachers to make them aware of the situation. If kids feel uncomfortable about going to school, you must not dismiss their feelings, but gather information on why they are feeling differently.
With this nationwide crisis, we want only the best for your child, and you must go out of your way to ensure that. The decision of sending children to school in 2021 is a difficult one but we hope with our pointers in hand that it will ease the stress and help parents make a wise and sound choice for their child’s health and safety.