It is the fear of many parents that school will be back in session before the COVID-19 pandemic is over. For some parents, this fear might come sooner than in the typical school year. Some schools want children to participate in summer school, while other schools are mulling over the idea of having school start much earlier this year. If you’re feeling uneasy about this there are some things you can do to help your child fight back against coronavirus while they’re at school. So, don’t let the stress get to you because these ten items can truly make a big difference.
1. Face Mask
At this point, it is pretty well known that a face mask can make a huge difference when it comes to COVID-19. Some scientists are saying that if 80% of people wore masks when out that we would be able to get rid of COVID-19, while others are saying that wearing a mask can at least help stop the spread of the virus if a person is infected. So, a face mask can be an important thing for your child to have at school. You can make these at home for next to nothing. Plus you can choose fabrics that suit your child’s interests. To help prevent the masks from harming the ears, you might also consider using clasps in the back to relieve this pressure. The mask doesn’t have to be worn all day. Instead, students should wear it when in the hallway or at other times when they are not 6 feet away from others. This especially includes the bus.
2. Water Bottle
It is important for your child to stay hydrated throughout the day. However, the school’s water fountains probably aren’t going to be a wise idea for a while. Thus, you should send your child to school with a water bottle. The portion of the bottle that children drink from should have a covering so that it is not exposed when not in use. Keeping children hydrated with their own water bottle will help keep the body healthy in case of an infection. It will also allow children to feel more comfortable with drinking water as they won’t have to worry about germs. If possible, ask your child to keep the water bottle in their desk or locker to prevent contamination on the exterior when not in use.
3. Hand Sanitizer
Not every teacher has a sink and soap in their classroom, nor will most teachers allow their students to wash hands whenever they ask to. Thus, a container of hand sanitizer is a must for your student. You might consider getting a travel size bottle and decorating it to make it seem more inviting for your child. Then, fill with your favorite brand of hand sanitizer or follow recipes to make your own. Students can use this hand sanitizer after sneezing, coughing, touching something that might be contaminated, and so on.
4. Personal Tissue Container
Sneezing has never been a great thing to do in public. However, now it is even more important for children to cover their sneezes. Although most classrooms tend to ask for tissues that all students can use, this year, you might want to send your child with their own container. Tissue containers might contain germs if a student sneezes on the box or near it. You can make a container in so many fun ways, so browse for ideas online to help get you started. One of the best options is to make an enclosed container though, so the germs from sneezes won’t contaminate the tissue that your child will use on their own face. These tissues can be kept in a student’s backpack or desk for added convenience.
5. Hand Wipes
Although hand sanitizer can go a long way, hand wipes can also be a great asset. Going through a cafeteria line, touching a chair at the table, and so on can actually pass germs. So, even if your child washes their hands before eating, they could still get COVID-19 germs on them before they actually get to their meal. If you pack a hand wipe or two in their bag then they can use these to wipe down the area of the table that they eat on, as well as their hands. These can also be used on the bus, at their desk, and so on. Hand wipes are small so they can be placed in many different places too, so students will always have one on hand. If you’re trying to save money, you can also make them yourself and store them in ziplock bags.
6. Privacy Screen
Some schools are toying with the idea of putting up a privacy screen, but other schools aren’t. So, if you want to give your child a little extra protection then this is a good thing to consider. However, you will probably have to get the go-ahead from your child’s teacher. A privacy screen isn’t anything that is overly complicated though. Rather, you can tape two folders together and add a little base to help them stand up. It might be more efficient if you use a transparent folder though, so you might shop around for that. A privacy screen can be placed around your child while they eat and study.
7. Reliable Thermometer
A reliable thermometer is something that every household needs. However, it is also something that is incredibly important right now. One of the main symptoms of COVID-19 is a high temperature and it could be the only symptom a person gets. However, if your child has a fever they should be quarantined at home so they don’t spread the virus to someone else if they do have it. You should take your child’s temperature before they head to school and when they come home just to play it safe. A thermometer that uses the ear or forehead is one of your best options too. That way you’re not spreading germs between family members. There are lots of reviews for these items online too, so make sure you shop around to see which will work best for your budget and your family.
8. Spare Clothing
It has already been said that coronavirus will live on clothing and other fabrics for a few days. This can pose a risk to children, especially if someone sneezes or coughs on them. Thus, you might consider adding a pair of spare clothing to your child’s school supplies. Simply place these in a bag that can be kept in the locker. Make sure the bag is closed tight though so that germs in the air can’t get on the clothing. If a child feels uncomfortable then they can swap clothing to ease their mind. This can help prevent infection, as well as anxiety. Make sure your child knows to store the potentially contaminated clothes in a closed bag too until they can get them home to be properly sanitized.
9. Closed Lunchbox
Gone are the days of your child grabbing lunch from the cafeteria or taking a brown bag lunch to school. This can be a potential danger to children. Cafeterias could expose children to the virus while the food is being served or the virus could stay on the child’s tray and infest during mealtimes. Brown bags don’t offer complete protection either as droplets can penetrate the bag and contaminate the items students will touch and eat, even if they are wrapped in plastic. So, you’ll want to invest in a lunch box that completely closes. Preferably, you will want to choose a box that can be sanitized daily. This will keep out droplets so kids can open the packaging without touching contaminated items.
One of the best things you can arm your child with during the school year is knowledge. A lot of parents are worried that telling their children about the virus will make them feel anxious. However, having your child return to school with new rules and potentially a new set up will freak them out even more if they’re not sure what is going on. So, explain about COVID-19 and the risk it poses to some people. You might talk about symptoms, ways to prevent it, and so on. Most importantly, you will need to talk to your child about the proper way to wash their hands as this will be the biggest asset to them. There are lots of online resources for this, so you can help your child feel confident. You might also go over the six feet rule with older children that can follow the rule, as younger children probably won’t grasp the concept.
School can be a frightening place for children and parents with COVID-19 still spreading. These ten things can help your child protect themselves from the virus so they can learn without feeling as threatened. With any luck, a vaccine will come soon, but until then, these items will help your child get through the day with less of a risk of contracting the virus.