Dubai, United Arab Emirates, 13 September, 2020: Dubai Health Authority discusses the importance of reiterating certain basic precautionary measures to empower school-going children and the need for families to adopt a sanitization routine once children return home from school.
Dr Hend Al Awadhi, Head of Health Promotion and Education Section in the Dubai Health Authority's (DHA) Public Health Protection Department says that while school-going kids would have settled into the new normal, it is important to speak with children regularly so that parents can notice if the child has settled in or is experiencing any uneasiness or anxiety.
She also emphasised the importance of health tips that parents should keep reminding their children of regularly.
Do and don’ts at school
- Greet others without any contact
- Wash or sanitise your hands frequently
- Wear your mask the entire time you are at school. (Put cloth masks in a pouch when you eat your snack or lunch. If you use a disposable mask, dispose of it CORRECTLY and use a new one after eating your food.)
- Maintain physical distancing
- Bring your own food from home
- Stay home if you have ANY respiratory symptoms
- Clean and disinfect your desk
- Handshake and no high-fives either
- Share food with others
- Share your mask with others
- Sit with a big group of friends
- Touch your eyes, nose or mouth with dirty hands
- Throw your mask in undesignated places
- Exchange books and stationary
- Spread rumours about COVID-19
She added that parents should put in a place a daily sanitisation routine. “Cloth masks should be washed daily. If the mask has a filter, it should be removed and reinserted after the mask is dry. The filter should be changed every ten days.”
Sanitisation of personal items at school:
Ensure that you sanitise their personal items regularly.
The personal items most susceptible to contamination are:
• School bag
• Lunch box
• Pen and notebook
• Smart devices
• Children’s toys.
You can sanitise items with a disinfectant or a sanitizer provided it contains a minimum alcohol content of 60 per cent.
Al Awadhi provided some tips for children to bear in mind:
Ensuring your safety and wellbeing when traveling to and from school:
Before going out:
• Do NOT go to school if you have ANY symptoms of a respiratory infection or fever.
• It is better to tie your hair to reduce touching your face
• Wear a mask before leaving the house
• Don't forget to carry your protective kit – (face mask, spare face mask, sanitiser and tissues)
• It is better to use private transportation
When entering the house:
• When you return from school, take off your shoes, keep them in a specific place, preferably outside your home and do not forget to sanitise them later
• Remove your face mask and dispose of it correctly
• Leave your school bag, personal items and study tools in a designated place in the hallway of your home and sanitise it later
• Take off your school clothes and put them in a laundry bag
• Shower or wash the exposed areas of your body well (hands, wrists, neck and feet)
Tips for students that use the school bus
• Do not enter the bus if you have any respiratory symptoms
• Make sure you adhere to all precautionary guidelines
• Note that your temperature will be measured before entering the bus
• Make sure you wear the face mask correctly while you are on the bus
• Maintain physical distancing between yourself and others and avoid gathering with friends
• Avoid touching the interior surfaces of the bus
Do not touch your face with contaminated hands and keep your hands clean by sanitising them frequently
COVID-19 is transmitted by contaminated droplets, so it is important to maintain a sufficient distance between you and others at all times, says Al Awadhi.
• The distance should not be less than two meters
• You may think that it is difficult to maintain this distance in the school environment, especially with your classmates but remember that physical distancing is one of the most basic elements in protecting you, your classmates and your family.
Al Awadhi said that parents must educate children that by following safety instructions, children are not only protecting their health and the health of their family members but also keeping their fellow school friends, teachers and staff at the school healthy.
Al Awadhi said parents and all house members including househelp should also ensure they adhere to all precautionary measures at all times.