Dealing with the Start of the School Year and COVID-19
First of all, as pediatricians, we have to applaud all our parents, caregivers, teachers, and supportive family members for working so hard at keeping our kids together as best as they have been.
We are so excited that the new school year is finally here! Just as much as most children are about to return or starting back with in person learning, it seems like they should just bounce back, but there are so many challenges. Children are very resilient beings, but parents and kids are still anxious if this new school year will be safe, fun, and productive. Here are some of our tips to support optimal physical and mental health during this stressful but exciting transition period back to in person learning.
- Try to start back with everyone in the home getting to bed earlier. Preferably 2 hours after dinner. This will lower the stress hormones and help deal with the natural feelings of anxiety.
- Drink more water to increase the metabolism, keep hydrated and feed the brain and body to work more efficiently.
- Talk it out!! Bring up the discussion in a non-threatening way. This will help the children and parents release all their fears and anxiety which will provide an opportunity to come up with solutions for your family.
- Get the bubble vaccinated. Even though a small amount of those vaccinated can still acquire the virus, the vaccine has been emergency use authorized because it can help prevent severe infection, its side effects and death. In general, this bubble effect is meant to protect our kids who are under 12 years of age and not able to be vaccinated. The “bubble “includes anyone your child has repeated contact with such as in the home, daycare, aftercare, grandparents, etc.
- Go outside and get sun exposure and exercise. The immune benefits of vitamin D are well known. A natural source of vitamin D is always better than any supplement. We would advise that kids and families prioritize outdoor activity. This can include a walk to the store for groceries, playing in the park, hiking, bike, or scooter riding, etc. These are free stress- relieving options for the entire family that again can support building our mental health stamina.
- Review the schools’ COVID protocols to be prepared and not be surprised once school begins.
- Wear a mask, as recommended by American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) for 2 years of age and above. Let kids make their own, bedazzle them, color coordinate, or use sports approved masks that may be more comfortable.
- Wash hands as much as possible and use hand sanitizer when available.
- Remember, we are all in this together. We want all our patients to have a fun and productive school year no matter what level.
- We wish ALL children a successful school year!
- If any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to call us for a virtual or in- office consultation.