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COVID-19: your back-to-school checklist

By The Health News Team | August 11, 2021
Child at school with hand sanitizer and mask

Ready or not, back-to-school season is here. This year, as kids relish in the excitement of in-person learning, a few extra "pandemic supplies" will help keep them safe from COVID-19 and other illnesses.
"The more protective measures we do, the better we are at decreasing the risk of spread," says Dr. Jyotu Sandhu, a board-certified family medicine doctor with Sharp Rees-Stealy. "While vaccination is our best defense against COVID-19, teaching kids to mask effectively and socially distance are important ways to keep them, and our community, healthy."
10 items to add to your back-to-school supply list:

  1. Mask or face covering
    Make sure your child's mask is clearly labeled to prevent accidental sharing, and find a brand or design they like to encourage them to wear it.

  2. Spare masks or face coverings
    Buy a backup — and a backup for the backup. Kids are notorious for losing their masks, so be sure they always have an extra.

  3. Face mask clip or lanyard
    A strap, clip or lanyard for your child's mask will help them keep it on hand, as well as make it more fun to wear.

  4. Resealable bag for soiled masks
    Arm your child with resealable plastic bags, and encourage them to store dirty masks safely inside them, instead of carrying masks or tossing them in an open backpack.

  5. Hand sanitizer
    Kids can be stubborn about washing their hands. Finding a hand sanitizer that can easily clip to their backpack is a quick and easy way to keep their hands germ-free.

  6. Tissues
    Buy multiple packs of personal tissues. If your child has tissues in a variety of places, from their backpack to their locker, they are more likely to use them (instead of their hands or sleeves).

  7. Hair ties
    For kids with longer hair, hair ties are a must. They can help keep your child's hair out of their face, which will discourage them from touching their face.

  8. Reusable water bottle
    Schools will probably have guidelines around public water fountains but just in case, send them to school with their own reusable water bottle.

  9. School supplies
    Many schools will send a list of supplies that kids should bring with them on day one. To lower the risk of spreading germs, schools may not be able to provide communal classroom supplies, so you may want to send your child with their own items, such as pens and glue sticks.

  10. Disinfecting wipes
    A personal pack of disinfecting wipes can help your child learn the importance of a germ-free space, and give them peace of mind in public places, such as the school library.

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