Back to school: Pediatrician shares tips on how to keep kids safe from COVID-19

Ready 4 School

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) – Next week, thousands of Bay Area students return to classrooms for the new academic year.

This while COVID-19 continues to spread in our communities.

If your child shows any physical signs of illness, Orinda-based John Muir Health pediatrician Dr. Robin Meezan says do not send them to school.

“Even if they don’t have COVID, you don’t want them going to school with another illness that may spread to other students in the classroom,” Dr. Robin Meezan said. 

The state is not requiring minimum distancing in classrooms for the new academic year but regardless of vaccination status for students, teachers and staff, masks are mandatory indoors.

“The mask that they wear and the mask that doesn’t slide is always going to be the best mask,” Dr. Meezan said. 

Dr. Meezan says students will need to share some common touchpoints with others like doorknobs.

That’s why she says it’s important that everyone frequently wash their hands or use hand sanitizer before eating meals or touching their face but in an effort to ease your child’s potential anxiety, Dr. Meezan says parents should explain to kids how the virus actually spreads.

“One thing we know is that COVID is really mostly spread through aerosolized methods. So, like wearing a mask is going to, like, protect your child very well. Droplets which we can get from touching things is not the best way that COVID is spread. It actually doesn’t spread that well that way,” Dr. Meezan said. 

Contra Costa Health Services says COVID-19 spreading in schools among students is much less common than novel coronavirus spread in the community from indoor social gatherings.

Dr. Meezan says hopefully everyone eventually feels comfortable sharing space with others.

“Going to the classroom, resuming soccer or dance and those sort of connections they can make with their teammates, with their peers, getting back to an art class that they loved, I think that’s going to help us support our children,” Dr. Meezan said. 

If your student is 12 years of age or older, they are eligible for the vaccine and are encouraged to get the shot.

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