One of the most significant concerns during this pandemic was making sure that keeping children safe and protected was a top focus. Unfortunately, they are too young and innocent to understand the devastation that has occurred in the world because of Covid-19. The only concepts they will understand are what adults teach them through words and actions. As kids head back to school this year, there are several guidelines offered by the CDC (Center for Disease Control) that revolve around emergencies that could occur on any typical day, as well as emergencies that can occur because of Covid-19.
ABC’s of Keeping Children Safe
When instructing children, the proper ways to be safe, parents and adults should make sure that children know the importance of following the guidelines being introduced. The greatest part of ensuring the safety of children is it is as simple as following your ABCs.
Ask your child if they understand how to be reunited with you if an evacuation or emergency occurs. Adults need to keep in mind that children do not problem-solve as we do. They will not know to find another adult or the proper ways of contacting a parent. With this said, a child should be taught the appropriate place to go in an evacuation or emergency. This step is as simple as choosing a spot with your child that you both are aware of and then practicing with them. A parent should also give the school contact information in case of an emergency. Making sure both steps are complete ensures that your child and the school understand what to do in the case of an emergency or evacuation.
Bring the necessary supplies your child would need if they were separated from you for at least one night. When completing this step, make a list of all the essential items your child would need without you. These could be important medications that they take daily like an inhaler, food to ensure they have the proper nutrition, and even items as small as diapers. Once you have figured out the necessary items needed, you should make sure that your child’s school has a stockpile in case of an emergency. You should also ensure that the school is aware of the proper way to administer any medication to your child.
Complete a card for your child to keep in their backpack and create a secondary card for your wallet. This card should include important contact information containing personal cell phone numbers and work phone numbers. This card should also have information regarding your child’s school and teacher’s name. Fortunately, the CDC has offered a PDF version of this card that can be downloaded and printed out for free on their website. Emergencies are never planned, and having a contact card like this is beneficial to ensure your child makes it safely back to you.
With the current Covid-19 crisis, it has never been more critical to ensure the safety of children. They are unaware of the proper guidelines to follow. As parents and adults, we should ensure they understand what is happening around them and always keep themselves safe. Mask implementation in children and how to sanitize correctly are the two main concepts that need to be taught to children.
When teaching your child about mask wearing, here are some guidelines to follow:
- The mask you choose for your child should be made for a child. Placing an adult mask on a child’s face leaves too much room for respiratory droplets to enter.
- Children 2 and up should be wearing a mask at school and in public.
- Unfortunately, children are not going to like a mask covering the lower part of their face. We must reinforce the proper way to wear a mask and explain why it is important.
- Children should not be touching their masks or trading with other classmates.
- Children should be taught to wash and sanitize hands as often as needed.
Sanitizing and washing hands are also fundamental concepts to instruct children. Children should be reminded by adults at school and out of school to wash their hands regularly and sanitize afterward. A great item that you can throw in your child’s backpack would be their very own bottle of hand sanitizer.
Keeping children safe is a very daunting and vital task to do. Parents from all over the world are aware that they will not be with their children while away at school. They cannot prevent emergencies, and they cannot control who their child encounters at school. However, teaching them the ABCs of safety and ensuring that they understand the two most important guidelines regarding Covid-19 could make the world they live in a much safer place.