This year, schools everywhere will look different than in the past. Some will be re-opening and welcoming students back, with new rules about masks and social distancing; others will continue to teach students remotely; and some will experiment with a hybrid model, blending in-person and online instruction. Whatever approach your school is taking, a new school year means a fresh start for the whole family. For A+ preparation, here are six steps to take before the school bell rings.
- Stock up on healthcare basics. Check your medicine cabinet and make sure you have all the bases covered. That way, if you or someone in your family gets sick, you’ll have what you need without making a mad dash to the store. You can ask your healthcare provider for advice on specifics, but some common items to stash include a thermometer, tissues, pain relievers, cough drops and cough syrup, antidiarrheals, bandages and ice packs. Be sure and check the expiration dates on old medications, too, so you can replace them if they’ve expired.
- Talk to your kids about how they feel. With COVID-19 continuing to spread, this is a stressful time for everyone, including children. Make time to ask the kids about their feelings around starting the new school year. See if you can find ways to help them minimize stress and anxiety, while encouraging them to make healthy choices and follow their school’s guidelines. Make it a point to continue checking in—and asking how you can help—as the school year progresses.
- Make or purchase spare masks. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends washing cloth face masks after each use. Keep that in mind as you prepare for the school year. Do you have enough masks so that you can circulate them in and out as they’re being washed? Do you have extras you can send with your child, just in case they lose one or it becomes soiled? Better safe than sorry, when it comes to face masks.
- Compile soap, hand sanitizer and other cleaning items. If the kids will be going to and from school and/or other places throughout the week, you’ll want to do a lot of cleaning! Make sure you’ve stocked up on everything you need, and, if you can, grab extra cleaning products to send to the school—like hand sanitizer and wipes—if the administration requests it.
- Start the routine early. In many households, kids have been at home since March or April when their schools shut down because of COVID-19. Over the summer, schedules naturally tend to stretch out to include later nights and relaxed mornings sleeping in. When school starts, those early mornings may be a shock to the whole household! Start practicing the back-to-school routine a week or two early by instituting regular bedtimes and wake-ups. That may help ease the transition when school begins.
- Take care of any health concerns. Right now, doctor’s offices may be backed up with back-to-school physicals and other appointments. But you can quickly and easily get a virtual visit with a healthcare professional at Jetdoc to talk with them about any health challenges or questions you or your children might have, and to seek advice on how to stay healthy throughout the year. Jetdoc professionals are up-to-date on the latest science, and can share tips on COVID-19 safety and other back-to-school prep questions.
This year, going back to school may be an exciting if nerve-wracking time for your family. If you have any questions about how to help keep your children safe, or what to do if they’re feeling ill, talk to a Jetdoc professional today.