Parents play a vital part in the shared responsibility to prevent COVID-19 spread in schools and communities. To date, nearly 30,000 COVID-19 cases have occurred in children under 18 years old in L.A. County. If a child’s school has reopened for one of the approved purposes, the decision to send a child back to school rests with each family. It is essential for families to follow the Department of Public Health’s safety guidance to reduce the risk of getting and spreading COVID-19. The necessary steps include:
- Keeping your child at home if she or he is sick and or has any symptoms of COVID-19, or if your child has been in contact with someone with COVID-19; symptoms to look out for in your child are fever, new onset of cough, diarrhea/vomiting/abdominal pain, and new onset of severe headache;
- Instructing your child to always wear a mask while at school and when in public outside of your home;
- Developing good hand hygiene habits so that your child frequently washes their hands, particularly before eating and after toileting;
- Teaching your child to stay 6 feet apart from others who aren’t in your household.
There are also actions that parents can take to increase their child’s safety at school:
- Find out if your child’s school does a symptom screening daily before children and staff enter school; they should be requiring this step for the entire school community.
- Ask your child about their experience at school regarding distance between students, mask-wearing, and hand washing.
- Model the behaviors you wish to see your child demonstrate when they go to school; these behaviors include wearing a face covering when outside the home, physical distancing, and hand washing.
- Ask the school to share its safety protocols and other plans for how it will handle cases and exposure that might occur at the school and ask how the school will communicate with parents if that happens.
- Be part of school efforts that promote compliance with safety directives.