You don’t need to wait until the first day of class to get informed. People are returning from vacations, public transportation is going to operate on regular routes, and more people are going out of the streets, or children walking to school – a busy scenario.
School closures have brought negative impacts on every child’s education and development. To address their needs, read our back-to-school safety tips for kids to help in the transition and ensure that everyone is secure this school year.
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Back-to-School Safety Tips for Kids
1) Talk to the School
Contact the school of your child and gather information about the school’s regulations regarding the return to class. To help ensure that you are aware of the different requirements, ask the checklist questions and resources. This provides basic queries and advice for exactly what your child needs.
Over the summer, schools are accessible to answer any questions that a parent or kid may have. One to two weeks before the start of classes may be the best time to inquire.
2) Contact Information
Children should at least be familiar with basic information like the names of parents, home addresses, and phone numbers. Be very clear with your kids about who they should tell this information. Parents, in particular, should heed this counsel.
3) A Good Backpack
Provide a backpack that’s not too small or too big. School children always have their bags full of school essentials. For that kind of weight, the best backpack is one that is designed to distribute the weight evenly over the back.
Give a carry bag that does not weigh more than 5% to 10% of the child’s body weight. A pack is too heavy if you find it difficult to put on or take off their shoulder. Another clue is the strap marks showing on the shoulders.
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4) COVID-19 protection
Wearing a mask helps limit any potentially contagious elements. Every day, give your child a fresh mask and a spare mask kept in a tidy sealable bag. Don’t forget to provide an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
Since there are many children in the classroom, label your child’s mask to avoid being confused with other children’s masks. Tell kids to never wear a used mask from a classmate.
5) School Bus Safety
While school buses are the safest transport and are specially engineered to safeguard children, your role is to pay full attention to your children’s behavior when getting on and off the bus. Make sure kids don’t arrive at the bus stop too early so they will not be tempted to roam.
Teach and remind children to:
Wait well back from the road until the school bus comes to a complete stop and opens its doors.
Clear or avoid putting their books or bags along the aisles.
Cross in front of the bus at least three meters away so the driver can see them.
Never walk behind a school bus.
6) Care when you’re Driving
Be aware that driving close to a school bus requires extra caution. Observe the speed limits in school zones and the drop-off procedure at your school. Never pass a bus with children being loaded or unloaded. Stop far enough back to allow kids to access and exit the bus securely.
Generally, when a school bus signal lights are flashing, you should drive with utmost care and stay away from passing it because kids are commonly crossing the street at that time.
Tips for Teachers
1) Proper ventilation
The amount of COVID-19 virus particles in the air can be decreased by improving ventilation in classrooms. Changing the heating, ventilation, air conditioning, or air filtration systems, opening numerous windows and doors, or employing fans can all be beneficial. Maintaining windows open a few inches while traveling to and from school might enhance air circulation, as well.
Schools should encourage students to frequently wash their hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds using at least 60% alcohol.
Remind children to cover their mouths and noses with an elbow or a tissue when coughing or sneezing. Children also should avoid touching their eyes, noses, and mouths. Teach the art of thorough handwashing for about 20 seconds.
3) Cleaning and Disinfecting
In most cases, daily classroom cleaning is sufficient to eradicate germs from school surfaces. Let’s understand the difference between cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfecting.
CLEANING eliminates most bacteria and dirt. Basically employs soap and water.
SANITIZING decreases germs to acceptable levels using chemicals that kill bacteria on surfaces.
DISINFECTING means using a certain type of chemical cleaner that kills not only bacteria but viruses.
4) Listen to Your Class Concerns
As a teacher, you serve as the children’s confidant. Try to be as accessible and organized as you can to ensure that every student feels comfortable sharing any worries or anxieties he or she may have about going back to school during this time of the pandemic.
Pay close attention and communicate frequently. This way you can assist them in coping with their concerns whether they are troubled about the COVID-19 news or what might happen if there is a confirmed case at school.
5) Establish protocols for when someone is ill
Prepare ahead of time by updating emergency contact lists and working with school health workers and administration. Make sure there is a process for segregating sick kids and employees from healthy ones without stigma.
It could be necessary to report students, teachers, or employees right away to the desired personnel so their parents can be informed or if they can be discharged home.
Tips for your child
1) Communicate their Needs
Children should be able to express their requirements in a clear and concise manner, especially to you being their “parent” in school. By communicating their needs, you also encourage them to express how they are feeling, such as when they need something, when they’re hungry, when they’re anxious, or when they are in pain.
Encourage them to talk and express what they want to say and let them know you are there for them anytime. COVID-19 outbreaks can happen in school settings, but prevention strategies, being aware and being informed help curve the spread of the virus in schools.
2) Help them to familiarize routes to school
Teach and train your child to familiarize the way to and from school. It pays a lot when he or she knows where the bus used to pass by. Make sure you and your child are familiar with both the main and detour routes, too. At times when roads need to be closed in an emergency, having a backup plan is extremely helpful.
3) Provide information for safety
Students should have access to reliable information on how to keep themselves and others safe. Although COVID-19 is still spreading, students’ worries and anxiety about COVID-19 will be reduced with knowledge and facts regarding the illness.
It aids in their capacity to manage any adverse consequences in their life. This advice offers important messages in stopping the spread of the disease, lessening its effects, and assisting in control measures.
4) Talk to your children about safety
Don’t hesitate to talk about safety. Explain the school’s emergency course of action. Spend quality time talking about emergency information so the child can understand and act quickly.
Be straight and clear. Explain the possibilities and what to do when they don’t feel safe, how to find a teacher, what number to call, and who to get in touch with in case there’s no one at home when they arrive.
There are different ways to equip children now that they’re going back to school. Good behaviors and being attentive to what is around them will not only train them with life skills but brings a lot of benefits to parents and teachers regarding a child’s progress and development.
It would be great if you, as a parent, would get involved. Talk with your child’s teacher or principal about how you can help increase school safety. You can even suggest strategies like organizing parents to form a group watch before and after school. Parents’ involvement is sometimes successful when it comes to improving the safety of their children in school.
So… happy back to school then!
Have I missed some important tips or do you have anything to add to the list? Feel free to share them in the comments.