From our sponsor, Memorial Hermann.
Sure, it’s scary to send your unvaccinated kids back to school or daycare while COVID-19 and its Delta variant lurk. But it’s vital.
To protect kids at school when only those 12 and up can get vaccinated, renew the preventive measures we used before vaccines: masks, social distancing and frequent hand washing.
Easier said than done? Dr. Vitug shows how:
Talk it out. Explain why masks protect us and others. For tykes under 3, liken masks to car seat belts for safety. With older children, talk about germs, COVID-19 and guidelines from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Get kids involved. Let them choose, make or personalize their masks.
Practice makes perfect. Have tots—and their toys—wear masks at home to get accustomed.
Be a good role model. Wear face coverings when you leave your home, and show how to make them snug. “Also, if older siblings are doing it, younger ones are more likely to,” says Dr. Vitug.
Discuss peer pressure. Texas public schools cannot mandate masks, but Harris County encourages them.
“If children don’t see other kids wearing masks, they won’t feel comfortable wearing one,” Dr. Vitug warns. Tell them that true superheroes wear them and show pictures of admired others in masks.
Make it a game. Use masking tape to mark off social distances between dining room chairs, or use pillows on sofas to show proper distancing.
Pack extras in their lunchbox. Sanitizing towelettes and gel pumps will help them remember to clean up.
Also remind them to keep their hands out of their mouths and to cover their mouth and nose with tissues when coughing or sneezing. If lacking tissues, they should cough or sneeze into their elbow.
Compromise if your child has multiple health issues. Talk with teachers, daycare personnel and your pediatrician about concerns and protocols if sick kids come to class. You may enroll your child part-time.
Be open to change. Let your kids guide you, Dr. Vitug says. “They may adjust to their new normal more quickly than you do.” Learn more →