Back to School Safety Tips for In-Person and Remote Learning

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Dr. Joy Drass, Medical Director for the Geisinger Pediatrics Western Region, says safety precautions in a school environment are very important, because it’s a larger group setting.

“Talking to kids and preparing them for wearing a mask, prior to the first day of school, starting to get kids on board and accumulated to the mask, I think is a really important thing to do between now and the start of school,” Dr. Drass, said.

She says get your kids to buy in to wearing a mask and using hand sanitizer.

“Those are probably the two most important things to help minimize spread of infection,” Dr. Drass, said.

She says it’s also important kids stay six feet apart from each other.

Dr. Drass suggests you check your child’s temperature and ask them if they’re feeling sick on a daily basis.

“We encourage parents to take children’s temperatures at home, prior to going to school and kind of running through this list of questions while the child’s eating breakfast or that sort of thing,” Dr. Drass, said.

She says symptoms of a fever, cough and shortness of breath are most concerning, but pay attention to a combination of more subtle symptoms.

“Soar throats, body aches and fatigue, or even some GI symptoms of vomiting and diarrhea-if there’s a combination of those symptoms, then that certainly makes us a little bit more concerned that those patients would potentially need investigation or testing,” Dr. Drass, said.

If your child is learning remotely, make sure they have structure, a routine.

This means getting up for school the same time every day.

Dr. Drass says kids should get exercise and have social interaction, as long it’s socially distanced.

“Getting some sort of physical activity on a consistent basis, whether it be walking the dog or some sort of scheduled time playing outside or bike rides or things along that nature are really important to overall health,” Dr. Drass, said.

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