It is not too early to prepare your child to go back to school. And this year especially they need to be very prepared. At the end of last year, I told our teachers that they needed to make their students junior epidemiologists. Parents, you can help. Here are some suggestions from pediatricians. (You didn’t think I was going to just give you my opinion.)
- Get them reacquainted with social situations. Have an earnest conversation about so- cial distancing and let them get used to being around other
- Keep supplies near so that they are prepared. Beyond Covid-19, kids will still get scratches and such. Make sure they have band-aids and other first aid
- Use Positive Reinforcement for Masks. Luckily for us here at Holy Redeemer, masks have not been an issue. Our parish gets it. Nevertheless, kids enjoy positive feedback, let them know when they are wearing their mask
- Give Children Helpful Visual Clues. How far is six feet? It is good that we have spacers in church, at the grocery store and other places. Let your child get a sense of what the proper and safe distances
- Be Mindful of Exercise and Screen Time. I know I have been harping on this, but exer- cise is important. Find fun things to do, especially if team sports don’t work out in the fall. Children need to move!
- Make following procedures easier for them. This is not a problem for Fr. Kevin, but pull their hair back into a ponytail or with a headband to avoid them touching their
- Continue to instill good hygiene habits. Right now we may be falling into something called “caution fatigue.” March and April we were dutifully washing our hands to the Our Fa- ther or the Happy Birthday Song or the beginning of Star Trek – 20 seconds. We may have fallen off a bit. Use this last bit of summer as a training ground for proper hand washing while teaching your child how germs can spread by touching objects or other people. Don’t let fear of getting sick be the motivation, since that stress and anxiety is what causes fatigue in the first place. Instead, make good hygiene about a positive notion, like saying to your kids, “See? We’ve all stayed healthy and safe all summer. Let’s keep it up!”
The safety and health of our students begins in your homes.