Tips for Parents as Kids Head Back to School During COVID-19
It’s impossible to bring up the subject of kids heading back to school without talking about the COVID-19 pandemic. According to some recent nationwide reports compiled by the American Academy of Pediatrics, while children only account for about 9% of all coronavirus cases, that still means that more than 380,000 children have tested positive for COVID-19 since the onset of the pandemic. And cases are on the rise, with the period between July 9 and August 6 accounting for 179,990 new cases in children – a 90% increase in just over 4 weeks.
Fortunately, at this time it appears that severe illness due to COVID-19 is rare in children. However, according to the CDC, kids are still able to spread the virus to others who may be at a higher risk, such as parents, grandparents and other caregivers.
At GreeningLaw, P.C., we understand that sending their kids back out into the world can be a daunting prospect for some parents. Many people on the GreeningLaw team have kids going back to school and college. We want to offer some tips and advice that parents may find useful in the coming weeks or months. So, what can parents do to educate their kids and help them steer clear of COVID-19 during the school year?
Emphasize the importance of everyday precautions
Like most parents, you’ve probably spent the entire summer reminding your kids about the kinds of things they need to do as a part of their day-to-day routine to prevent against getting sick.
As you prepare to send them back into the classroom, be sure to reinforce the everyday things that the health authorities are saying they will need to keep in mind, as well as what makes these precautions so effective and why they should do them – not only to prevent themselves from getting sick, but also to prevent spreading germs to others.
These everyday preventative measures recommended by health authorities include:
• Social distancing – Reducing close contact with others limits the risk of getting sick via the infectious respiratory droplets people with COVID-19 release while breathing, talking or coughing. You should also remind your kids not to share food or drinks with their friends.
• Properly using a mask – Wearing a mask helps to contain potentially infectious respiratory droplets that may be released while breathing, talking or coughing, especially in cases where social distancing is more difficult.
• Frequent handwashing – Washing your hands limits the risk of getting sick by touching a contaminated surface and then spreading the virus to your eyes, nose or mouth if you touch your face.
Know and understand the safety measures at their school
No matter how many precautions schools put in place, gathering groups of kids into classrooms comes with some risk. On the other hand, most experts agree that learning works best when done in a classroom setting. Because of this, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has published guidelines that offer best practices to help schools stay safe as possible during the pandemic.
As a responsible parent, it’s important to make sure that your child’s school is adhering to these recommendations and that they’re implementing every possible measure to keep children safe while they’re at school.
Your child’s school should proactively reach out to you about new safety measures, but make sure you have the following questions answered:
• What changes have been made to classrooms, hallways, cafeterias and buses to ensure social distancing?
• Is there a universal masking policy for all students (if age appropriate) and staff?
• Will hand-washing opportunities be frequent and hand sanitizer be readily available?
• Is the use of shared equipment being minimized or eliminated?
• Have cleaning services been increased and how often will high-touch surfaces be disinfected?
• Are students and staff who feel sick required to stay at home?
• What is the plan if someone at the school tests positive for COVID-19?
• How are you monitoring changes in community spread?
• What are you doing about sports and other activities?
Schedule an annual wellness exam
A healthy immune system starts with a healthy kid, meaning checkups with your family doctor may be more important than ever right now. The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way we do a lot of things, but it hasn’t changed the importance of checking in on your child’s overall health and wellness.
Skipping scheduled well visits may also reduce the chances of catching developmental, social, and emotional conditions early on when there’s still an opportunity for early intervention. And because these appointments often include vaccinations, they’re critical for protecting children from serious illnesses that can be easily prevented.
Fortunately, most pediatric practices across the country are implementing new procedures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and doing everything they can to keep you and your child safe.
Can parents bring legal action if their child gets COVID-19 at school?
This is a tough question, and while it would be nice if there was a definitive answer, it’s not easy to generalize at this time. Many schools are protecting themselves by requiring parents to sign waivers, but there are still other factors that could affect individual cases. This is an area of the law that is not settled.
If a school is slow to close its doors, fails to meet established health and safety guidelines, or fails to take proper precautions, parents may have grounds for a personal injury lawsuit. Each case is unique, and parents will need to discuss these details with a lawyer who can evaluate the details and let them know what their legal options may be.
GreeningLaw is here for families who need help
At GreeningLaw P.C., we understand that the start of the school year can be overwhelming for parents and children even without a pandemic going on. As a parent, it’s important to remember that even if you do everything right – including doing helping your kids steer clear of COVID-19 – other kinds of accidents and injuries can still happen, particularly due to the carelessness and/or negligence of others.
If your child is injured at school or anywhere else, contact the skilled attorneys and team at GreeningLaw, P.C. We work diligently to determine what really happened, identify any responsible parties, and get you the compensation you deserve.
We’re recognized as one of the leading personal injury law firms in the state of Texas for a reason, and we want to be there for families in times of need. We offer free consultations where we review all the elements of your case, discuss any possible compensation, and recommend the best course of action. And because we work on a contingency basis, if we don’t win your case, you don’t owe us anything.
Call 972.934.8900 or schedule your consultation online today and let us handle your case so you can go back to focusing on the things that matter most to you.
We fight the legal battle so that you have time for healing and renewal, and we want to wish everyone a safe and successful school year! We will get you through this.