SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Baystate Medical Center reminds parents to keep COVID in mind when shopping for back to school supplies.
With cases of COVID-19 on the rise, parents are reminded to pack PPE and other pandemic essentials when sending children back to school. Dr. John O’Reilly, a pediatrician at Baystate Children’s Hospital, recommends the following additional supplies to help keep your kids safe at school:
- Face Masks
- “We know the science tells us that face masks work to protect not only your children, but masks will also potentially protect their classmates and teachers. Parents should pack at least two or three in case one breaks or gets dirty. . . Although we try not to touch the mask when donning and doffing, it may be unreasonable to ask kids not to touch them, so I don’t think we want them to change masks just from touching. If they are touching them enough, they will look dirty and that will necessitate the change,” said Dr. O’Reilly.
- Hand Sanitizer
- “Since hand washing isn’t always possible in the classroom and in other school areas, you should send your child to school with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. It is important to teach your child to use hand sanitizer safely, and to avoid ingesting it or getting it into their eyes,” said Dr. O’Reilly.
- Tissues and disinfectant wipes
- “Send your child to school with a package of tissues and teach them to sneeze into a tissue to prevent the spread of germs. Also, disinfecting wipes can keep desks clean, especially for older students who move from classroom to classroom,” said Dr. O’Reilly.
In a statement from Baystate Medical Center, Dr. O’Reilly goes on to recommend that in addition to shopping for the right items, parents should try to teach their children pandemic-safe behaviors such as washing their hands regularly, and keeping proper distance from others. Dr. O’Reilly also reminds all parents to vaccinate their children once they become eligible to receive the shot.
“Vaccinating your child when they are eligible not only protects them, it protects their classmates who cannot get vaccinated due to medical conditions, and it protects every adult your child interacts with throughout their busy day. The pandemic has been stressful for everyone, and the return to in-person schooling may be stressful for your child. They may need a big hug from a supportive caregiver after a long school day, and vaccinating your child makes that hug safe for both your child and the caregiver,”Dr. John O’Reilly | Baystate Medical Center
Currently those 12 and older are eligible to receive the Pfizer vaccination.