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Back to School: Parents’ Hacks for Protecting Kids

As schools prepare to reopen in-person learning, here are tips on how to keep your kids safe and healthy when they head back to class.

Starting a new school year can be exciting for your kids as they look forward to seeing their friends again. But it’s never easy. Especially not this year when the idea of another year of school during the pandemic is still a little startling, even though we have learned a lot.

I’ve been talking a lot lately to friends who are teachers and parents and they all seem to be confused. Many are asking what parents can do to keep younger, unvaccinated kids healthy.

In some regions, public health guidelines allow fully vaccinated teachers and students to return without wearing masks inside school buildings. But they’ve also stressed the importance of schools offering in-person learning while also being as safe as possible requiring unvaccinated students and teachers to physically distance and wear face coverings. We know as parents you may have other concerns too.

Here, our NSF expert Paul Medeiros, managing director of consulting and technical services, weighs in. He’s got some advice to help you get your child back to in-person school safely:

  • Pay Attention to Protocols

    Policies may vary from school to school, so it is important to check them out. We encourage you to follow the rules and regulations that will be in place at your child’s school.
  • Follow the Three Cs

    Make sure the safety checklist at your child’s school includes measures that protect against the Three Cs—close spaces, crowded places and close contact settings.
  • Keep Distancing

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that schools maintain at least three feet between students in classrooms. Check with your school to see what is allowed and required.
  • Scrub Up

    As you’re getting kids ready to go back to school, it’s the perfect chance to review proper hand washing - Scrub Club® style. Hand washing is by far the best way to keep kids from getting sick and spreading #germs.
  • Mask Up

    Teachers and students who are not vaccinated should continue to wear masks in the classroom or on the bus. It’s especially important when inside and in crowded settings, when social distancing cannot be maintained.
  • Ask Questions

    It’s OK to ask teachers and school administrators what the policies are, how they will be enforced or about any safety concerns you may have.

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