Back to School: Keep Kids Safe from COVID-19

Book bags are replacing beach totes as it quickly becomes time for students to go back to school. Preparing for your child's return to the classroom can help keep them safe and ensure the best possible care in the event of a medical issue or emergency.

The American College of Emergency Physicians advises parents and students to take extra precautions to protect themselves from COVID-19 as many schools resume in-person instruction.

Prepare ahead

  • Get your child vaccinated against COVID if they are 12 or older.
  • 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.
  • Ensure you, or your child’s school, have any necessary emergency medications, such as EpiPens.
  • Get your child's 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.

Stay safe at school

  • Emergency physicians recommend that children wear a mask at school, regardless of their vaccination status, and keep their distance from others.
  • Keep your child home if they are not feeling well.
  • 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.
  • 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.

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