COVID-19 pandemic has not only affected the adult world of health, finance and even social interactions, it has also forced us all to rethink the safety of our children as they go back to school to face a potential influx of germs and infections. And we know that some of these germs could potentially have very serious consequences.
While we all want our kids to get the most out of their education, no one wants to sacrifice their children’s health to that end. At Medco ER & Urgent Care, we’re here to help. Our board-certified physicians have compiled 5 ways you can safeguard your child’s health while school starts back up.
“Despite a solid game plan in place that correlates with the school district’s reentry plan, parents are still concerned about sending their kids to school. However, by adhering to the proper guidelines, the risk of infection can be minimized,” said Medco ER & Urgent Care’s Regional Medical Director, Dr. Tariq Vora.
Tip 1: Immune System Boosters
“The best thing you can do for your child is to nurture a strong immune system,” said Dr. Vora. “Making sure your child gets a balanced diet each day with plenty of fresh vegetables, fruit, protein, complex carbohydrates and water, eliminating refined sugar and processed foods, and using vitamin supplements are good places to start.”
Establishing a regular bedtime with plenty of hours of sleep is part of teaching your child good sleep hygiene. This is an often overlooked aspect of having a strong, healthy body.
Keep tabs on stress levels. If your child runs at high levels of stress, over time this can impact the immune system. Do what you can to infuse laughter and fun into each day and talk through any difficulties to keep your child healthy and trouble-free.
Tip 2: Sanitize Clothes and Masks Daily
Have your children get in the habit of changing their clothes immediately upon coming home and placing them in the dirty laundry. Cloth masks should be washed each night and paper masks should be disposed of properly (not recycled). It may be more convenient to do a small load of laundry each night to ensure your child has sanitized clothes and mask to start each new day. Don’t forget to disinfect the laundry hamper and wash your own hands afterwards.
Tip 3: Teach Healthy Practices at Home
To prepare your child for a healthy school year and beyond, proper hand washing techniques are crucial. Teach your child to wash his or her hands every time after using the bathroom and before eating. Instruct them to wash hands immediately upon returning home and after changing clothes. Demonstrate the right way to wash between the fingers, under the nails and on the fronts and backs of hands for 20 seconds using soap and water.
Pack hand sanitizer in your child’s backpack for on-the-go cleaning. If your child moves from classroom to classroom throughout the day, consider packing non-bleach disinfecting wipes so each desk and chair can be cleaned before use.
Tip 4: Masks are a Must
Even more than backpacks, masks are essential back-to-school gear now for every student. But it’s not enough to give a mask to your child and send him or her out the door. Kids need to know the proper way to wear the mask – covering both the nose and the chin – and that they are not supposed to remove the mask even to answer questions or to talk to friends, and they should not share or exchange masks with friends.
“We should teach our kids how to sneeze and cough when wearing a mask. They should learn to cough or sneeze into the mask. If you can, pack an extra mask each day. Then, your child can swap out when it has gotten dirty,” said Dr. Vora.
Perhaps the biggest hurdle parents face in mask training is getting their kids to wear them for long periods of time. This actually may require practice at home to get the children desensitized to the mask.
Tip 5: Monitor Temperature and Symptoms
Taking your child’s temperature each day can be painless with a digital thermometer. This constant vigilance will help ensure your child is feeling his best at the beginning of the day. If your child has a headache, cough or runny nose, keep him/her home to be on the safe side, and follow up with a health care provider.
Get fast treatment at Medco ER & Urgent Care
At Medco ER, we are here all day, every day, to take care of your family when needed. Our board-certified physicians are always available and ready to assess your child’s health at a moment’s notice. If you are worried about exposure to coronavirus, talk to us about any noticeable symptoms. We can help.
- Plano: 3960 Legacy Drive on the corner of Legacy and Coit Road.
Call us @ 469-392-4000.