Dr. MeiLan Han
How Can You Keep Your Children Safe for Back to School?
This summer is a stressful time for parents as Back to School looms closer, and there remain questions about the health and safety of a traditional classroom environment.
Is it safe for our kids to go back to school?
Parents worry about sending their kids physically into school, remote learning while managing their own work responsibilities, or homeschooling full-time. While the safest option during a pandemic is avoiding as much physical contact with others as you can, a long-term quarantine is not a financially feasible option for many parents.
The Center for Disease Control guidelines for returning into schools includes students and teachers wearing masks, increased handwashing, physical spacing by six feet, outdoor learning time, and restricting mixing of groups. You can read more about the guidelines published earlier this month here.
In the coming month, we will continue to see news stories discussing whether or not it will be safe for children to attend school in the fall. Unfortunately, we really don’t know yet what fall will look like with respect to either the pandemic or the ability for children to attend school, but the CDC is beginning to provide some guidance for schools.
As we learn more about COVID-19 and see successes and challenges in the schools first to reopen, we should expect guidelines to evolve.
My advice as a physician and a mother? Make sure your children continue to receive their recommended vaccinations over the summer so they are as protected as possible for fall.
To learn more about the importance of vaccinations this summer, please read this article in the New York Times on declining vaccinations during the coronavirus pandemic. With more parents opting to avoid non-critical medical care or delay appointments, more children are expected to go back to school without all of the recommended vaccinations.
Whatever decision you make this fall regarding going back to school or remote learning will be the best option for your family. As a clinician, I want your family to be as prepared as possible as we all figure out what Back to School looks like, and that includes preventing other contagious illnesses we may overlook as COVID-19 dominates our news cycle.