The New Normal At School

It’s almost time to head back to school! Parents are buying school supplies and new clothes. Children are making the most of their last days of freedom before they get back to the grind, but no matter what school looks like this year, it would be a good idea to make some plans in advance to stay safe and healthy.

FEMA has offered some tips for starting school safely this year. Classes are likely going to be “in-person” again, yet they may look different from what’s expected. Masks and social distancing might once again be part of the plan. There may be other health measures in place too. In order to keep your child as safe as possible, follow these suggestions:

  • Remind your child to wash his or her hands frequently while at school. They’ll have a better chance of avoiding the flu and colds as well as COVID-19. Singing the “Happy Birthday” song twice ensures they’ve rinsed all the germs away.
  • If the school will allow it, add a small bottle of hand sanitizer to your child’s backpack.
  • Make sure you know what the emergency plan is for your child’s school and that your child is familiar with it as well.
  • Review your own family emergency plan with your children before school begins, and let them carry a copy of it with them in their backpacks. The plan should have listed the location of the gathering place where you’ll meet after a disaster. Having it written down will ensure that there are no misunderstandings should a disaster occur.

DNL would like to suggest that if your child uses any assistive technology items in school, you clearly label them so they don’t get misplaced or lost in an emergency. Make sure your child has the phone numbers where you can be reached while at work, and should a disaster occur, what their responsibilities are. Having a plan and practicing it regularly will ensure that your children are safe during an emergency and that they know exactly what to do and when to do it.

This school year, let’s make sure our kids are protected and stay safe and healthy! For more information on designing an emergency preparedness plan, please contact Disability Network Lakeshore at 616-396-5326.