Walk down any aisle in Target or Staples, and you’ll see it’s Back To School season across the country. But this year, getting back into the classroom looks a little bit different than what we’re used to.
A handful of states have ordered school closures or restricted students to remote learning only, but many others are exploring the options of getting students back into their buildings in the safest way possible. Here in Nashville, public schools are allowing families to choose which learning option they are most comfortable with, phasing in students by grade level at different start dates. Classrooms will be spaced out as much as possible, and students will wear face coverings and have their symptoms monitored.
All schools, elementary to college level, are grappling with how to phase in sports and other clubs in a safe way. Most sports teams have opted into distanced practices with masks on, and games played with limited to no spectators. Other clubs and activities are hosted online, wherever possible. This begs a much larger question: if student athletes become sick with COVID-19, is it safe for them to return to their sports?
The Sudden Cardiac Arrest Foundation discussed return-to-play policies for children who had COVID-19. If children are symptomatic or febrile, they should return to play gradually as they start to feel better, as with any other illness. For children who are not symptomatic, data suggest that they are safe to resume play so long as they feel up to it. In either case, spread to teammates is perhaps the biggest concern, so athletes should have a negative test to ensure that they are not spreading the virus to their friends.
Finally, a small number of children are developing multi-system inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C). This serious condition typically presents as an acute cardiac syndrome, and can be monitored with ECG and other cardiac testing. For student athletes looking to return-to-play after MIS-C, it is essential that there are AEDs and personnel trained in CPR on-hand at all times. These precautionary measures will ensure the safety of all team members,
It is true, of course, that we don’t yet know the long-term implications of COVID-19. If you and your family are worried about how to stay safe during this back to school season, we have compiled a list of tips to stay healthy:
- Wash your hands frequently with soap and warm water
- Maintain a distance of 6 feet from other people whenever possible
- Wear a mask when social distancing is not an option
- Disinfect surfaces often and don’t share common classroom items such as markers, scissors, or books
- Avoid touching your face when out in public
If your child or somebody living at home is immunocompromised, talk to your doctor and school district to discuss remote learning options, and call us for all your protective product needs!