UAE is getting ready to be back in school as the govt announced the re-opening of schools by August 30. There are several precautions issued by the health department to be followed by authorities and students to ensure a safe environment for everyone. This might be the longest your kids stayed away from school and friends.
Re-opening of school will not be accepted by everyone alike. Needless to say, with all the strict rules to be followed schools will not be the same as in the pre-pandemic times. It’s absolutely necessary for you as a parent to prepare your kids to adjust to the new life they will be facing.
1. Mental Preparation
Let your kid know how the school will be and what rules they will have to follow. Do not impart fear in them. Assure them everything will be alright if they are cautious. For kids with anxiety issues and OCD, it is preferable to consult a therapist to make their school life a smooth one.
2. Face Masks
According to the govt issued guidelines, kids over 6 years will have to wear face masks during the school hours. There are some tips you can do beforehand related to this:
- Educate them about the importance of face masks for their and other’s well being.
- Give them reusable and washable face masks with their name embroidered, this will eliminate chances of mixing up with other masks.
- Masks should fit them properly- cover the nose and mouth securely and should stretch from ear to ear.
- Pack them spare masks in case of emergency.
- Make sure to buy good quality masks so that they can be used for 6-7 hours in a stretch.
- To get younger kids to wear their masks, buy/make them fun masks- masks with patterns, favorite superheroes, etc.
3. Practice Breathing Exercise
As mentioned above, kids will have to wear a mask for the duration of school which will be longer than they are used to. Doing breathing exercises daily is a good way to keep them calm and collected. This will also reduce their anxiousness about wearing masks. Some of the best breathing exercises for kids are feather breathing, balloon breathing, bubble breathing, or counting breaths.
4. Teach Mask Hygiene
Knowing how to handle face masks is as important as wearing them. Teach your wards good mask hygiene to ensure absolute safety.
- Masks should/need not be touched once they are on.
- Stop touching face without washing hands.
- Mask should only be taken on and off using the elastic ear straps.
5. Proper Physical Distancing
According to the rules, children will have to maintain a distance of 1.5 m between each other while in class. This distance will change to 2 m when they are in common areas. As said before, this might cause some psychological issues in your kids. Talk to them and console them if needed and tell them smoothly this will be the new norm (at least for the near future).
This will be the first article in this series. Follow for more.