Back to School: Staying Safe if You’re Learning Remotely or In-person

Book bags are replacing beach totes as it quickly becomes time for students to go back to school. Although back to school may look different this year, the American College of Emergency Physicians has some tips to keep your kids safe whether are going back to school remotely or in-person.

Prepare ahead

  • Schedule medical and dental check-ups before school starts or as soon as possible.
  • Update your child's medical history records and emergency medical contact information. List prescription medications, medical problems, previous surgeries, and pertinent family history.
  • Make sure you or your child’s school have any emergency medications, like EpiPens.
  • Get your flu shot. Children between the ages of six months and five years old are consider high risk for the flu, although kids of all ages should get vaccinated.
  • Make sure your child knows how to call for help in an emergency. Emergency contact numbers should be visible right next to every telephone in your home. Encourage your child to learn when to call 911 and give their name, address and a brief description of the problem.

If your child is going in-person

  • Complete a consent-to-treat form. The form authorizes medical treatment and you should give copies to the school nurse and day care providers.
  • Work with your school nurse and appropriate care providers to develop action plans for health issues such as asthma or food allergies. Has your child been screened for allergies? Are all vaccines and immunizations current?
  • If your child walks to school or to a bus stop, review the route with them. Be sure to point out traffic dangers or other potential hazards. For bus riders, establish a safe and clearly visible pick up/drop off spot, preferably with a group of children.
  • Establish safety protocols to protect them from getting and spreading COVID-19. Children should continue to practice social distancing by keeping six feet apart from their peers and teachers, wearing a mask the entire time they are in public and washing their hands frequently. You may want to pack extra sanitary wipes so they can regularly disinfect commonly touched surfaces, such as desks, school supplies, and electronic devices.

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