It’s July 20 th, 2020 and the question of opening our schools is increasingly difficult to answer as our nation continues to fight through the Coronavirus Pandemic. Many are asking if it's possible to keep our children safe if at school amidst the Covid-19 pandemic. We did some research to see what experts are saying and we'll take you through the results of what we found so that you and your kids can be as safe as possible when returning to school.
To begin, we have seen that masks significantly lower the rate of virus transmission for both the wearer and those around them when worn correctly. Children can wear masks at school and enjoy reduced risk of contracting and/or spreading Covid-19. USA Today recently released the following information:
Can children carry the Coronavirus and spread it?
"I think the answer is conclusively, without a doubt – yes," said Dr. Lara Shekerdemian, chief of critical care at Texas Children's Hospital.
Surveillance screening, which is testing all children admitted to the hospital, has revealed a higher percentage of them carrying the virus and not showing any symptoms, she said.
The trend is consistent with data from Florida. About one-third of children tested in the state for Coronavirus, which causes the disease COVID-19, returned positive results, which is higher than the overall statewide positivity rate of 11%, according to state data.
Due the nature of the virus, children can be infected and carry it unknowingly. Parents and teachers alike know all too well that children struggle to remember to wash their hands, cough in their elbow and keep their mask on which is to be expected; they are just kids. According to UNICEF.org,“We are slowly seeing an increasing number of children return to the classroom. More than 1 billion students are still out of school due to nationwide school closures, but more than 70 countries have announced plans to reopen schools and hundreds of millions of students have returned in recent weeks. [As of early June 2020]”. UNICEF also released important guidance on how parents should approach the issue:
What questions should I be asking my child’s teacher or school administrator?
During such a worrying and disruptive time, it’s natural to have a lot of questions. Some helpful ones you may want to ask include:
- What steps has the school taken to help ensure the safety of students?
- How will the school support the mental health of students and combat any stigma against people who have been sick?
- How will the school refer children who may need referrals for specialized support?
- Will any of the school’s safeguarding and bullying policies change once schools start to re-open?
- How can I support school safety efforts, including through parent-teacher committees or other networks.
In another article from UNICEF called, “6 ways Parents Can Support their Kids through the Coronavirus Outbreak: A psychologist's advice on how to help your children deal with the many emotions they may be experiencing now”, they outline the following supportive steps:
- Be calm and Proactive
- Stick to a routine
- Let your child feel their emotions
- Check in with them about what they’re hearing
- Create welcome distractions
- Monitor your own behavior
It is important to remember that while children's safety from the virus is crucial, so is their mental health as they work to try and grasp the gravity of what they are living through. It is also important to remember that the same CDC recommendations for adults should be taught to children as well. For example:
1. Washing their hands several times a day for 20 seconds with warm soap and water.
2. Wearing their mask whenever they are out of their household
3. Using hand sanitizer when they enter and exit rooms
4. Refraining from sharing anything with their friends
5. Remaining 6 feet away from people when possible
As mentioned before, children have a special way of being able to spread germs quickly and efficiently no matter where they go. Just a couple of days ago, children who have been tested for COVID in Florida revealed a 31% positivity rate. According to studies done at John Hopkins Hospital of Medicine, if a child with COVID experiences the following symptoms, “Parents or caretakers should immediately contact urgent or emergency medical care.”
- Difficulty breathing or catching his or her breath
- Inability to keep down any liquids
- New confusion or inability to awaken
- Bluish lips
This is a frightening time that we are living in and the thought of our world's children being susceptible to something like this virus is both sad and frustrating but there are effective ways of reducing risk for our children and the children and families in our communities. We now know that the 6 CDC recommendations above are effective in fighting the spread of germs and keeping people safe from contracting the virus. Short of shutting down, they are our best defense until a vaccine or treatment are available.
As a Manufacturer of fabric and leather goods, we were fortunate enough to provide a mask solution that we believe is the best non-medical solution on the market. Both our kids and adult masks can support up to 3 layers of protection. We understand that kids don't want the look of boring or unfashionable surgical masks, so we created multiple colors and stylish prints for them to choose from. To accommodate kids of all sizes, we created adjustable ear loops for a tailored and comfortable fit. Follow the link below to see our collection of children's masks.