As children begin heading back to school, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has released tips on how students, teachers, and staff can stay healthy as COVID-19 cases continue to surge across the nation.
“This return to school season is like no other. Schools must be prepared to protect children from COVID-19 while also addressing a wide array of other pandemic-related challenges returning students are facing,” said CDC Director Rochelle P. Walensky, MD, MPH, in a press release. “In addition to keeping students safe from COVID-19, they will need to provide safe and supportive school environments to promote student well-being and recovery.”
Below are several tips from the CDC to help ease everyone as they transition back to returning to in-person learning and to stay healthy.
In its guidance, the CDC recommends that you take COVID-19 seriously.
"Students benefit from in-person learning and safely returning to in-person instruction in fall 2021 is a priority," the agency said.
The CDC also added that mental health is essential when it comes to the learning process.
"CDC data shows that the pandemic has created significant stress and trauma for children, adolescents, and families."
To do so, the CDC recommends that schools help promote a student's well-being by using CDC evidence-based strategies like establishing safe and supportive school environments.
Another tip the CDC recommended was getting children over the age of 12 vaccinated.
"Getting required vaccines can help protect children and teens as they grow into adulthood," the CDC said. "Making sure children get vaccinated is one of the most important things parents can do."
The CDC noted handwashing is also another way to stay healthy, stop the spread of diseases, and avoid getting sick.
Other tips include:
- Be tobacco-free because tobacco products contain nicotine, which is highly addictive and can harm the developing adolescent brain – specifically the brain areas responsible for learning, memory, and attention.
- Stay cool in the heat by limiting outdoor activity during the middle of the day when the sun is hottest, wear and reapply sunscreen, seek shade, drink plenty of water.
- Wear helmets and protect your head to avoid getting a concussion
The agency said eating well, being active, and getting enough sleep help children achieve and maintain a healthy weight and support brain development and healthy growth.