When parents are sending their children to school, they need to know how to keep their children safe. Parents often worry about how their children will adjust to school, but the COVID-19 pandemic has caused additional concerns that most parents are not ready for. It is important to learn how parents can prepare their kids for the upcoming school year.
Parents should be concerned about social distancing at schools. While schools have a difficult time forcing children to socially distance, schools can take steps to create a socially-distanced educational experience. For example, cafeterias can remove seats from tables so that children will be separated.
Schools have class changes, crowded hallways, and gatherings that are not necessarily appropriate during a pandemic. Due to this, parents need to know what the schools will do to limit exposure. For example, a massive high school cannot allow thousands of students to pack the halls every 50 minutes.
Children can be close together for short periods of time based on simple rules that have been created for schools. Children can be about six feet apart for about 15 minutes. This is why schools need to try to keep kids as far apart as possible because a traditional class period is longer than 15 minutes.
Six feet apart is considered close contact by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). If schools take extreme measures to separate students, they will also need to reduce class sizes. This might be the only way that classes can take place without breaching protocols. Parents are well within their rights to ask if class sizes have been reduced.
Masks are the priority for all students. When schools bring kids back into buildings, everyone must wear masks. Schools might ask children to come to school with masks, or they might provide masks when students arrive. Mask supplies in buildings could easily be a concern for parents.
The CDC has said that masks must be the priority to stop the spread of saliva droplets, coughs, and sneezes. At the same time, the CDC says that students who are wearing masks and walking through hallways quickly are safer than students who are sitting in close proximity for long periods of time.
Therefore, a student must be a little bit further away from their classmates when they are in classes. Masks must remain on at all times, and students must be trained to wash their hands as often as possible.
Students should focus on hand washing after they put on their masks. Hand washing was one of the first techniques touted by experts to stop the spread of the coronavirus. Parents can teach their kids to wash their hands often, and the kids will go to school with an understanding of why hand washing is so important.
A student that is wearing a mask regularly and washing their hands regularly is more likely to remain safe inside the school building. Hand washing might also include hand sanitizers that are offered in classrooms or that the students carry in their bags. A good care package for a student might include a few masks and some hand sanitizer products.
Experts believe that surface cleaning should be done only after masks and hand sanitizers have been used. It is helpful to clean surfaces throughout the building. Parents should ask the school how they plan to clean all the surfaces in the buildings, including the floors, desks, tables, and chairs. Children can sit down for class or lunch with the knowledge that the school is as clean as possible.
Parents can send their children to school with sanitizing wipes that they can use to wipe down surfaces. Teachers can do the same, but parents should reach out to the school to ask about cleaning protocols if they have concerns about the cleanliness of a certain room or facility.
The best thing that parents can do for their children is talk about the pandemic and how school will work during this time. Children need to know why it is important to wash their hands, use hand sanitizers, and socially distance. Kids who go to school without this information are not prepared to stay safe.
Children who go to school and treat everything as if it is normal will put other kids at risk. For example, a child who is an asymptomatic carrier could infect other children because of their carelessness. While they are only children, they need to know that their reckless actions can cause others to become ill.
Parents may also reach out to the school to share their concerns. Parents may need to ask the school for a virtual education plan, or parents might go to the doctor to provide medical evidence that their child is not healthy enough to return to school.
The school can provide accommodations for children who may be at a higher risk for infection. Every teacher will be informed of these accommodations, and the child can go about their school day as safely as possible.
If a child is injured at school or a parent feels that a school is not providing proper accommodations, contacting a lawyer may be beneficial. A lawyer can help a parent file a personal injury lawsuit if their child is injured on school property.
When kids go back to school, it is important that they follow safety guidelines to prevent an injury or illness. Contact one of our Delaware personal injury lawyers at Jacobs & Crumplar, P.A. if your child was injured at school. Call us today at 302-656-5445 or contact us online for a free consultation. Located in Wilmington and Millsboro, Delaware, we serve families throughout Dover, New Castle County, and Sussex County.