This guest post is sponsored by iMedX.
There is no right or wrong answer when it comes to providing the best for our child. A big debate among many parents to send their children back to school this fall after a long break off is what many are discussing right now while we are still on summer break. Going back to school can be exciting but also very apprehensive for many who are nervous about catching COVID. There not only are concerns about contracting this virus but also how children will adapt to new practices such as standing 6 feet apart, keeping their mask on, and not sharing school supplies. This new normal for everyone is an adjustment so there are a few steps you can help them with before the big day arrives.
1. Talk To Them about Fears – Start by asking yourself if you have your own concerns about the school reopening and share this with your child. By talking to them about your own fears, they might be excited to go themselves but nervous because they see that you as their parent are hesitant. Having stability is super important to them and you can reassure them as much as you want but children aren’t worried about the same things that you are. They just want to see their friends, their teachers, and get back to what is normal to them. If they do have any concerns, talk to them about it. Share that being sad or nervous is normal and help prepare them by giving them positive messages and build up their excitement for the big day. It’s very exciting to see their teachers but for the younger ones, this might be confusion, tears, and regression to act out because they just don’t understand why they can’t go back to the way things were. Don’t misinterpret that it is something more significant because this is how they are expressing themselves.
2. Practice Practice Practice – Change is hard for everyone, especially children who may not always understand why they need to do these new things. One way to help them adjust to this is by practice doing it at home so it will seem easier when school starts. This means to constantly hand wash before you eat your meal after you come outside playing or start a project or homework. This will help them see not only the importance of keeping germs but also get them used to do it more often than before. Another way for you to practice keeping their mask on is to allow them to wear the mask at home to get used to having it on. Have a timer for 10 minutes and increase it a few minutes every day so soon it will be easier for them. Share the importance of keeping our mask on even though it can be uncomfortable or scary. Again, keep communication open with your child and allow them to express their concerns with wearing it, praise them for doing so, and also be a role model to them while wearing it as well so they see adults having them on.
3. Standing 6 Feet Apart- Similar to practicing washing hands, talking about our feelings and getting used to a new normal, one of the hardest might be to stay 6 feet apart from friends, teachers, and trusted adults. This is essential to also practice with your child while you are at home and talk about the importance of doing this with them. If you can help ease their fears and for them to see it in other settings besides school, bring them to a store to show how everyone is standing apart from others. This will give them another perspective for them to see that it’s not just at school that this is happening but also in grocery stores, clothing stores, and hospitals.
4. Sickness Symptoms – If your child sees someone who is sneezing, not covering their mouth when they cough or if they aren’t feeling good, they need to come talk to you right away. You can discuss the proper steps on what to do next including going to their doctor or taking them to the hospital. Healthcare providers may experience long term local healthcare staffing issues or having difficulty finding quality billers, transcriptionists to handle heavy volumes of patients coming in so be prepared. One of the ways a company called iMedX is helping to assist them in creating an action plan to ensure their revenue cycle operations are not affected. They have coders who are up to date on the newest CPT codes to be used as the industry standard for streamlining and reporting on the novel coronavirus testing. This team is there to make sure everyone both patient, doctor, and nurse are on the same page as to the proper steps to help their health improve.
While there is still much to learn about COVID-19 and what the fall year entails, do your best to be open, honest, and discuss these tips to make your family aware and feeling confident going into the months ahead. Your child will feel more ease knowing that they have a support system at school and at home, practicing wearing their mask and constantly washing their hands as well as doing the best they can with what we are given. Be patient, understanding, and there for your child as we work through this together as a country.