Back to School Planning: How to protect your family and loved ones
For many families, back to school planning will look different this year than it has in previous years. Your school will have new policies in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19. You may also be starting the school year with at-home learning. Whatever the situation, these tips are intended to help parents, guardians, and caregivers plan and prepare for the upcoming school year.
- Talk to your child about precautions to take at school. Children may be advised to do the following:
- Wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds more often.
- If water is not available, use hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Make sure you’re using a safe product. FDA provides a list of hand sanitizers consumers should not use. Adults should monitor children while they use hand sanitizer and it should be stored out of their reach.
- Maintain a recommended physical distance from other people, including other students.
- Wear a mask.
- Avoid sharing objects with other students, including water bottles, devices, writing instruments, and books.
- Monitor how they feel and tell an adult if they are not feeling well.
- Develop daily routines before and after school—for example, things to pack for school in the morning (like hand sanitizer and a backup mask) and things to do when you return home (like washing hands immediately and washing worn cloth masks). Wash your hands immediately after taking off a mask.
- Be familiar with your school’s plan for how they will communicate with families when a positive case or exposure to someone with COVID-19 is identified and ensure student privacy is upheld.
Older Adults and people with certain underlying medical conditions are at increased risk for serious illness from COVID-19. If your household includes one or more people who are at increased risk, then all family members should act as if they, themselves, are at increased risk.
People who live in multi-generational households may find it difficult to take precautions to protect themselves from COVID-19 or isolate those who are sick, especially if space in the household is limited and many people live in the same household. CDC recently created guidance for multi-generational households. Although the guidance was developed as part of CDC’s outreach to tribal communities, the information could be useful for all families, including those with both children and older adults in the same home.
As in-person learning at schools resumes, increases in in-person interactions could increase the risk to exposure to COVID-19. Everyone in the household should take steps to stay healthy and protect each other from getting sick, by practicing everyday preventive actions, limiting interactions with other people, and staying informed on COVID-19 updates.
Protect Older Adults from getting COVID-19
During the COVID-19 pandemic, multi-generational families are concerned about increased risk to the whole family, including older adults. While there is no way to ensure zero risk of infection, it is important to understand potential risks and how to adopt different types of prevention measures to protect your family and to help reduce the spread of COVID-19.
- Develop a plan as a family to protect household members who are at increased risk for severe illness.
- Everyone in the family, especially older adults and others at increased risk of severe illness, should take steps to protect themselves from getting COVID-19.
- Learn about the other factors that can increase your risk for severe illness, such as having underlying medical conditions. By understanding the factors that put you at an increased risk, you can make decisions about what kind of precautions to take in your daily life.