June this year marks new beginnings for many people – with some schools even reopening their doors with new precautionary measures to keep their pupils safe amongst the COVID-19 pandemic.
Although keeping children at home is having a profound effect on their learning progress and is becoming increasingly difficult for many parents, there are still many unanswered questions about how safe it really is to be sending your kids back to school. One opinion poll carried out for The Observer found that 43% of primary school parents and 54% of secondary school parents felt uneasy and anxious about the prospects of their children going back, with many local councils going against government advice and keeping the doors closed for a few more weeks.
For more information about the opinion poll carried out, visit The Observer here.
The logistics of classrooms being coherent to social distancing rules may be challenging, but efforts are being made across the globe to get back to normal, with many countries successfully re-introducing children to classrooms.
If you’re keen to get your kids back to school, we’ve put together some tips to help ensure that they stay as safe as possible to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Face Coverings and Masks – It seems to go against natural instinct, but the government has announced that it is not required for school children to wear a face mask when they come back to school. Masks are effective mostly for short periods of time when you may be exposed to those that you are not usually in contact with, such as on public transport or in shops. Children wearing masks for longer periods in school are more likely to touch their faces to adjust the mask, or to reuse masks which the government believe will increase the infection rate.
This doesn’t stop you from encouraging your children to wear our Virustatic Shield elsewhere, such as when you visit family or go to the shops. Pick up and drop off times will be especially busy times of your child’s school day, and so wearing a mask on the way to and from school is advisable. If the mask is too big for them, tying it with a bobble around the back of their head or folding it over can help to secure it tightly and minimise the risk of infection.
Minimise Contact – Schools are going to be extremely cautious about letting children in that show any signs of COVID-19 symptoms, as well as those living with anyone that may have any symptoms of the virus. There will also be extensive steps to try and ensure that children do not come into close contact with each other for long periods of time whilst indoors, and so tables will be spaced out further apart than usual, and class sizes may be reduced. Break and lunch times may also be staggered.
For those with younger children, it can be hard for them to understand the concept of social distancing. we found this video shared by Village School Primary especially handy in getting the idea across in a way that youngsters may relate to.
Cleaning – It goes without saying that there will be increased handwashing and sanitation facilities in schools, and children will be encouraged to frequently wash their hands with soap for at least 20 seconds. The buildings will be getting a deeper clean than usual too, with door handles and surfaces in classrooms having frequent cleansing to prevent one class transferring any infection to another.
To read more on the government advice about sending your children to school, visit here.
It may be hard to find the balance between keeping your children safe and not hindering their educational and social needs, but you can set a great example of what needs to be done. Finding fun and exciting ways of washing your hands or educating your older children on the widescale effects of the virus will make them feel involved and included, with a better understanding of what’s happening in the ever-changing world around them.