With school starting up again, there are definite anxieties that exist surrounding COVID and safety measures. I think this is a great time to remind yourself (and your children) of key safety precautions. We all have a role to play to contribute to the health of our communities, and this includes keeping our hands clean and wearing a face covering.
Here are some tips:
As many people will be returning to in-person work and learning, it’s important to find out what the policy is on masks at your workplace and your child’s school. If there is no mask mandate in place, then you have to decide what you feel comfortable with. This may mean that you choose to continue wearing a mask, even if it is not required. I recommend having a conversation with the members in your household to discuss your thoughts and feelings about wearing masks. Decide what you feel comfortable with as a family and establish a plan to ensure that you are all safe and protected. It’s also helpful to do an inventory of what you already have in terms of reusable and disposable masks and stock up on what you need now so that you are well equipped.
Recommended hand-washing technique:
1. Always wet your hands before applying soap.
2. Lather and scrub for at least 15 seconds, including the fingers, thumbs and wrist.
3. Rinse well with water and dry your hands with paper towels.
Keeping your hands clean is also an important factor in keeping you and your family safe this school year. Be sure to stock up on hand sanitizer and keep some in your home, your car, your purse, and in your children’s backpacks. When using hand sanitizers, make sure you are using it correctly! Rub it on your hands (fingers, thumbs, and wrist, too!) for at least 15 seconds. If your hands are visibly dirty, soap and water is the best choice.
Make sure your hands are clean before and after touching your mask. Avoid touching your mask, and change it when it gets dirty. If you plan to wear your mask again, store it in a breathable container (e.g., dry paper bag or envelope) or wash it. Make sure your mask snugly covers your nose, mouth, and chin without big gaps. Avoid wearing your mask under your chin, hanging off one ear, or touching/sharing masks. It’s also important to remember to keep a distance from others while wearing your mask.
Keeping your health a priority is so important and we need to do our best to ensure we are keeping ourselves and our families safe. Teaching your children the steps to wear their masks and to properly clean their hands is a great way to make sure you are doing your part to avoid getting sick and to help keep others around you healthy as well. Be sure to speak with a healthcare practitioner if you need additional advice on staying well during the pandemic.
Wishing you a safe and healthy school year ahead.