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Dr. Rayanne House, Memorial City Pediatrician

Sending your little ones back to school amid the dangers of the delta variant of the coronavirus can be daunting and stressful. One thing that remains consistent is the American Academy of Pediatrics stance on the importance of in-person learning to a child’s mental, emotional and academic development. The AAP also encourages the importance of wearing a mask for children ages 2 and up, unless there is a medical reason not to do so.

These pieces of material may seem simple but when worn correctly have saved countless lives from COVID. Key things to enforce among your children, whether vaccinated or not are: proper handwashing, wearing a mask, social distancing, and staying home when ill.

Have open conversations with your older kids about the importance of wearing a mask and hand hygiene even once they are vaccinated. Let them know that you expect them to always wear it, even when this cannot be mandated by the school. This is them ‘doing their part’ to help stop the spread of COVID.

For tots and younger kids, you will need to be a bit more creative. Explain to them how their masks are like superhero capes that give them special powers. Let them pick out or even self-decorate their masks as a fun activity. Have mask sessions at home with built-in mask free breaks, so the idea of wearing a mask isn’t totally foreign when at school. Introduce the idea of singing the Happy Birthday song while washing their hands. Provide them with antibacterial wipes in their backpacks and lunch boxes to clean their hands throughout the day.

We are all doing our best. Children resuming in-person school can be scary, but you don’t have to let that fear paralyze you, especially if you follow the advice above.

The information contained in this Avenue 360 Web site is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment, and Avenue 360 recommends consultation with your Avenue 360 doctor or health care professional.