Schools are currently reopening, and a lot of parents are excited by the prospects of their children resuming learning. However, the virus is still very present in our communities and it is essential for us to institute some measures to help reduce the chances of our children getting infected. Transmission prevention measures are likely to be less effective when it comes to children, but we hope that these ideas will act as pointers to help you craft your own preventive measures in your home.
Talk to children about the virus in a language that they can understand. Depending on their age, this can be a high-level explanation of the disease or a more comprehensive one that includes the details. You can explain what the virus is, some symptoms ( be careful with this), and the virus’ impact on our daily lives. People are more likely to obey or follow preventive measures for something that they understand, and children are the same way. Do not just tell them to wear a mask without some sort of communication as to why.
Have an end-of-day reflection with the kids after school asking them how their day was and, in this conversation, you can inquire on matters such as if they were able to keep their masks on their whole day, if they washed their hands frequently or if there is anyone in their classroom who is showing symptoms.
3.Set an example
Walk your talk by washing your hands and wearing your masks. Children are more likely to do what they see than what we say.
4.Make it fun
Find ways of making the preventive measures fun to do for instance in finding/ creating a song about handwashing and getting family members to also learn it. This would make activities such as washing your hands or wearing a mask properly a fun activity for the kids and they are then more likely to do them.
Acknowledge , celebrate, and possibly reward the efforts that the kids make. For example, if they wear their masks for most of the day or if they wash their hands without having you tell them, acknowledge it.
We understand that releasing our children to go to school made up of different people in the middle of a pandemic can be a scary experience. However, we hope that these simple measures and tips will help you feel a bit less worried and also help our children protect themselves better.