Recommendations to Protect School Children From COVID-19

Educators believe that students should return to in-person learning to improve their mental and academic well-being. However, with the spread of the Delta Variant of COVID-19, more parents are worried about their children’s health. 

National recommendations for safety in schools

The Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), together with the American Academy of Paediatrics (AAP), has developed a set of national guidelines to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in schools.

The two associations recommend that children over the age of 2 and staff wear masks even if they are fully vaccinated. While vaccines are effective against the new Delta variant, vaccinated people can still spread the virus to others if they get sick hence the need for a mask.

The CDC recommends vaccination for those aged 12 and above. Researchers have shown that vaccines prevent severe infection and death from COVID-19. However, even with this recommendation, vaccine rates have been shown to differ among schools. Sometimes this difference is a result of the age of students.

Even with vaccines being made available, the CDC and AAP still stress the importance of layered approaches, especially in schools where most students may not be eligible for the vaccine. These approaches include staying home when you feel sick, hand-washing and keeping an appropriate distance from other students and staff.

The AAP and CDC have also urged schools to take appropriate measures if a member of staff or student contracts the virus. Such measures are contact tracing and isolating the affected students and staff.

How to protect your family 

Even as the CDC and AAP continue to give recommendations, it is necessary to take charge and ensure your family remains safe. One way you can do this is to vaccinate children aged 12 and above in your family. You could also encourage others who interact with your family to do the same. If your child is too young to be vaccinated, make sure you teach them the layered approaches of COVID-19 prevention, such as wearing a mask and hand-washing.

Another thing you can do is to wear masks if you find yourselves indoors in a public setting to minimise the risk of spread.

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