Dubai: 10 dos and don’ts for parents when sending kids to school

UAE – With several schools now holding face-to-face classes, the Dubai Health Authority (DHA) on Thursday listed out some safety reminders for parents. Dr Hend Al Awadhi, head of health promotion and education at the DHA, called on parents to strictly follow all health instructions issued by schools, as well as those detailed in the authority’s guidebook. Below is an excerpt from the guidelines, highlighting some practices parents must avoid.

1-DO NOT send kids to school if they have symptoms

Parents must be aware of the signs and symptoms of Covid-19 and they should NOT send their child to school if they exhibit any symptoms.

Symptoms include:

>> Fever (body temperature that is equal to or higher than 37.5C)

>> Body pain

>> Cough

>> Shortness of breath and difficulty in breathing

>> Headache

>> Loss of the sense of smell and taste

>> Diarrhoea

>> Nausea

>> Sore throat

>> Runny nose

If the child starts developing any of these Covid-19 symptoms at home, he/she must remain at home and the parent must inform the school immediately. If needed, the parent must seek medical advice and request a PCR test before returning the child to school.

If the result is negative, the parent can sent the child to school only after he/she is free of symptoms. Parents can submit the PCR test result and sick leave/attendance certificate upon the child’s return to school.

If the result is positive, parents should inform the school immediately. They should then follow medical instructions and adhere to isolation precautions. Upon returning to school, the parent must provide a COVID-19 Clearance Certificate from the treating doctor or by calling the DHA toll free number on 800 342.

If the child starts developing Covid-19 symptoms at school, they will be immediately taken to the isolation room. Parents must then seek medical advice and get a PCR test done for their child and adhere to the above procedures depending on whether the test result is positive or negative.

Close contacts to the child (such as siblings, other family members, classmates and friends) MUST adhere to home quarantine for 10 days.

2-Check on their health before dropping them off

Parents and companions should observe children for any signs and symptoms during the journey to and from school, while in the car. If any signs and symptoms appear, the child must return home, seek medical advice and inform the school immediately. The parent must adhere to the above procedures depending on whether the test result is positive or negative.

3-DO NOT put your child on the bus if they have symptoms

If signs and symptoms appear while riding the bus, the student should be seated in front and the school health and safety officer must take the child to the isolation room at school upon arrival. The school must inform the parent to take the child home. The school must also request the parents to seek immediate medical advice. Parents must cooperate with the school by taking the child immediately and they should follow the medical instructions.

4-Keep your child at home if he/she has been in contact with a positive case

DO NOT send your child to school if he/she was in contact with a positive case

A close contact is any individual who was within a distance of 2 meters or less of a Covid-19 infected person for 15 minutes or more. If a child is identified as a close contact, parents must inform the school immediately and adhere to home quarantine for 10 days from the date of the last contact with the infected person.

5-DO NOT send your child to parties

Parents must refrain from sending their children to big gatherings, like birthday parties, to minimise their chances of exposure to the Covid-19 virus.

6-Educate your child on preventive measures

It’s the parent’s responsibility to make sure that their child is aware of vital information related to Covid-19 such as, what the common symptoms are, and what precautionary measures they should take.

7-Make sure they are wearing masks

Students above six years old should wear a face mask. Parents must provide children with an adequate number of masks and sanitizers wherever they go.

8-Ensure kids have all the school supplies they need

Children must have sufficient school supplies, food and other essential items so they won’t have to borrow or share items with one another.

9-Pay attention to your child’s mental health

The world is currently facing a difficult challenge where adults and children alike may experience fear, worry, and stress. Parents much speak to their children and be open and listen to them. They should give them reassurance and comfort.

10-Follow all precautionary measures

Wearing face masks, sanitising regularly and practicing physical distancing and all other safety measures are key to preventing the spread of Covid-19.

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