This week we have seen many children and students returning to school after 6 months off. Understandably parents are worried about the risks this carries. Many parents that have remained at home to care for their children are now returning to work, anxious as to what the future holds, and whether the virus is going to spike as a result of this.
In the ‘new normal’ what should we be doing to protect ourselves and those we care for?
A face mask is a simple barrier that prevents respiratory droplets from passing into the atmosphere and spreading to others. Masks are mandatory on all forms of public transport. Children over the age of 11 are required to wear them. This alone will take a bit of getting used to. And when at school and moving around between lessons and at break times they will need to be worn. As far as prohibiting the spread of Covid19, the more they are worn, the better. It also makes people more aware of how infectious the disease is and reminds them to be vigilant in hand washing and keep social distancing wherever possible.
So, what can you do as a parent to make this easier and safer for your children?
It is recommended that you have a minimum of 3 masks for each person you are responsible for. This ensures that you have enough masks to have a clean one readily available for each family member. If masks are not washed frequently and kept clean and germ free they will not do their job.
Whilst at school, masks could be unwittingly mixed up, and your child might return home in someone else’s mask, so make sure that your child’s mask is distinguished in a way that they know it is theirs to avoid this. It could be a coloured piece of ribbon, a name label, or whatever you choose to mark it as belonging to them.
And, as a parent returning to work, the sphere of possible infection is widening dramatically. Due diligence is primarily your responsibility, for yourself and those that you are responsible for. If 80% of people wear masks, this can reduce the spread of Covid19 more than a strict lockdown.
So remember the 3 W’s for your household –
1. Wear your mask
2. Wash your hands frequently
3. Watch your distance
But the most important thing you can do to make it easier for those that you are responsible for is ensuring that there is always a clean, distinguishable mask with you and each of your family members wherever you are.