Dubai: Health experts from Dubai Health Authority (DHA) have provide a detailed reckoner on back-to-school health tips and preventative measures to follow as children return to their classrooms.
Dr Hend Al Awadhi, Head of Health Promotion and Education Section in DHA’s Public Health Protection Department, said: “In line with governmental guidelines, schools have adopted stringent precautionary measures to reduce the possibility of transmission of infection among students and to provide a safe and healthy educational environment. Parents also play a pivotal role in helping maintain health and safety standards. Students and parents must adopt internationally recommended safety measures at school and after school as well.”
Al Awadhi provided some tips to prepare children to go back to school.
1. Educate children about COVID-19, how it is transmitted and ways to protect themselves from it.
2. Encourage your child to have a conversation with you if you feel your child is anxious about returning to school.
3. Address any concerns and worries they may have.
4. Be supportive and listen to your child.
5. Speak to your child about feeling safe within the school environment.
6. Emphasise the positives of returning to school.
7. Inform children about the safety measures and precautions that the school will follow and explain to them that these measures are in place for everyone’s safety, health and wellbeing.
8. Talk to them about the changes they will experience in school, such as having to wear a mask and the importance of maintaining physical distance between them and everyone at all times.
9. Empower them by making them understand that they are helping keep the school environment healthy and they are protecting themselves and their peers by adopting these precautionary measures.
10. Talk to them frequently so that you can notice if there is any change in their behaviour.
She highlighted that children should be provided with knowledge, tools and taught hygiene practices.
Educate your child about COVID-19
• Methods of transmission.
• Ways in which your child can protect himself or herself and others.
Provide a protective kit for your child to take to school
• Hand sanitizers
• Face Masks
• Teach children the correct way to wash their hands.
• Educate them about the importance of maintaining sufficient physical distance (not less than two metres).
• Teach them sneeze/cough etiquette.
Dr Awadhi advised parents to educate children about some important preventative measures as well that they can adopt to protect themselves, their peers and school staff.
Dos and don’ts at school:
Greet others from afar
• Wash or sanitise your hands frequently.
• Wear your mask the entire time you are in school.
• Maintain physical distancing.
• Bring your own food from home.
• Stay home if you have ANY respiratory problem.
• Clean and disinfect your desk.
• Handshake and no high-fives either
• Share food with others
• Share your mask with your classmates
• Sit with a big group of friends
• Touch your eyes, nose or mouth with dirty hands
• Throw your mask in undesignated places
• Exchange books and stationary
•Spread rumors about COVID-19
Dr Al Awadhi added that government authorities and schools have worked hard to create a safe and positive environment for children so that they can thrive in school.