Are you concerned about your children going back to school safely? Although we don’t yet know the exact details of getting back to school, we can get organised for when the date arrives. We have teamed up with Schoolbooks.ie to bring you tips on getting organised for going back to school safely this year.
It seems at the moment that every year the going back to school experience is different. But preparations for going back to school safely will be the same for all children regardless of age or school stage. We asked our parent audience to share their tips for getting organised for going back to school safely this year.
Going Back To School Safely This Year
#1. Update Contact Details
If any of your contact details have changed since last year, including email and phone and numbers or address it is important to update them with the school. The school should have parents’ and carers’ contact details and many will also ask for alternative emergency contact details too.
#2. School Bags At the Ready
Along with the usual school books and stationery items, you should include a small bottle of hand sanitiser and a packet of tissues for your child to use while at school.
Children should be encouraged not to share/lend stationery like pens, pencils, crayons, glue etc. to classmates.
Be sure you have everything on the booklist before your child goes back to school to avoid them having to share school books or copies.
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#3. Label Everything
Along with labelling books, stationery, bags, coats and uniforms be sure to clearly label water bottles and lunch boxes too.
Children need to be able to easily identify their own water bottle and lunch box so they don’t inadvertently use another child’s.
#4. Read School Policies And Guidelines
As parents, it is up to us to read the guidelines and policies set out by our school and adhere to them.
From policies on travelling to and from school, to who can and can’t enter the school to what to expect if your child begins to feel unwell, they will all be outlined in special return to school documents.
Read them, understand them and ask questions if you are unsure of anything. That way you can chat through what is relevant with your child and be reassured that they are not going to be confused when the time comes to go back to school.
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#5. Education Is Key
While you don’t want to overwhelm or frighten your child with too many details, it is important that you have an age appropriate conversation with them around COVID 19 and what they can do to stay safe.
- Before returning to school ensure your child knows how to wash their hands correctly.
- You should also remind them of good coughing and sneezing etiquette.
- As parents, know the symptoms of COVID 19 and don’t send your child to school if you think they may have the virus.
- Explain what your child should do if they begin to feel unwell in school.
Your school should issue you with guidelines around their policy that you can use to discuss with children.
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#6. Walk Through
Your school may offer a walk through for classes before the children come back to school. Try to make it to this if it is offered. Not only will your child be able to familiarise themselves with the new layout, you will be confident of safety measures that have been put in place too.
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#7. Listen To Concerns
Just as it always has been, it’s important to make time each day to listen to concerns your child may have and answer any questions they pose. Try to keep the information you give them age appropriate and help as best you can without overwhelming them with too much information.
Children do feed into our anxiety and model themselves on our behaviours. So bear this in mind when children are around.
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#8. Masks and Face Coverings
While there are different policies for each age group, if your child travels to or from school on school or public transport, they will need to wear a face mask. Have these ready for them to wear on day 1.
Teach them how to wear them properly. And remember, they are not a fail safe barrier to picking up or indeed spreading the virus, but can help in the fight against it.
Schoolbooks.ie has everything a busy parent might need for during the school year from school books, stationery, learning resources, lunch items etc. But did you know you can also find lots of ideas for birthdays or a rainy day at home on their website www.schoolbooks.ie? They’ve got children’s books, face paints, painting sets, educational toys, games and much more!