Who\u2019s guilty of being anxious knowing that the kids must return to school face-to-face this year? Well, you\u2019re not alone. Many parents may be concerned about how their children will survive in school during the era of COVID-19. Regardless of how worried we are, it\u2019s been more than a week since the children in Malaysia began their new school year. We may be familiar with the drills of being in an enclosed space, but we can't expect the kids, especially those in primary school, to be the same. When they're at school with all their friends, all they want to do is learn while having fun. As parents, we've done our part by providing kids with hand sanitiser, a face mask, and possibly some extras in the bag. We remind them to always wear their masks. We also give them reminders that we are still in pandemic mode (and soon to transition to endemic phase). But then, we pick them up from school and they are without their face mask and hand sanitiser! What can we do? After all, they're children, and all we want is for them to be safe. So, while it\u2019s not advisable to force them, we can gently remind them of steps to reduce exposure every time they go to school. Here are some reminders for your kids, and possibly you, to help reduce COVID-19 risks. Hopefully, they will be able to adjust to the new rules over time: Stay Home if Sick Image credit: Canva This is the most fundamental of all common rules. Even before the pandemic, if your children are sick, you\u2019re not supposed to send them to school. You should take them to the clinic and make sure they take their medication. Keep your children at home until they are fully recovered and ready to return to school. Don't take this for granted because if your children don't get enough rest, it will be difficult for them to be better. At the same time, you want to keep your kids from infecting other kids at school. COVID Testing When in Doubt Image credit: Canva We may have taken the kids out on weekends, so it's best to do the COVID self-test kit before sending them to school. Some schools require students to take the test every school day or once a week on Monday. Although they aren't showing any symptoms, they may have been exposed to the virus because we took them out in public. It's always better to be safe than sorry, as the saying goes. Wear a Face Mask This is not a new phenomenon; in Malaysia, everyone is required to wear masks when going out in public. Still, it's something that kids frequently forget, especially when they're having fun with their friends. Always provide them with a face mask (with or without a face shield) as well as some extras in case one goes missing while they\u2019re at school. Remind them every day not to get too close to or talk to their friends and teachers without a mask on. Physical Distancing Physical distancing has been mandated in all Malaysian schools, so, tables and chairs have been separated so that the children do not sit next to one another. But kids being kids, there will be times when they will get out of their seats and begin mingling. Teachers and parents should always remind them not to be too close to their friends, and if they must, they should always be wearing a face mask. The same is true during recess\u2014especially if food is not brought to classes and students must go to the canteen. Make sure they remember to line up and don't create a crowd. Clean and Disinfect Image credit: Canva It will be beneficial if you can provide your children with antibacterial wipes or a mini nano mist sanitiser spray. This way they will be able to clean or spray their chair and table before each class. It should also be used for their bags and belongings after exposure to germs and viruses. Make it a habit for your children to do the same at home and when they go out in public, so they aren't as hesitant in school. Keep Hands Clean Image credit: Canva This is where hand sanitiser comes in handy. Even if your child forgets or does not have one, the school should have some available. Also, remind your children to wash their hands with soap as often as possible. Keep in mind that keeping clean hands is one of the most effective ways to kill germs and viruses. Get Vaccinated Image credit: Canva Since kid's COVID-19 vaccinations are now available, it may be less stressful to send children to school or even take them out. The vaccination could not have come at a better time than during the school holidays, so some students were already immunised before returning to school. This could reduce the risk of serious complications if infected with COVID. Even after we've done all of this, it's still a volatile situation right now. We can all be as cautious as we want, but our children may still be harmed. When this occurs, remain calm and refrain from playing the blame game. Instead, make sure the kids are comfortable and follow the UNICEF guidelines: What to Do if Your Child Catches COVID-19 Image credit: Canva \tSeek medical attention as soon as they begin to feel ill, even if the symptoms are minor. \tIf your doctor says it's safe for you to care for your child at home, try to limit contact with one caregiver as much as possible to protect other family members. \tExplain to your child the dangers of COVID-19 and why it's important to keep a safe distance from other family members for a while. \tMake sure they wash their hands frequently with soap and water. If they can't, then do so with hand sanitiser. \tAllow them to rest, drink plenty of fluids, and eat nutritious food to aid in their recovery. \tKeep an eye on their symptoms, and if they worsen, contact a healthcare provider right away. Trying to keep your children safe at school can be meticulous, but it is not that complicated if parents and teachers collaborate. What's important to remember during this COVID season is that you must take care of yourself as well as your family. Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is for informational purposes only and should not be considered as medical advice from Motherhood. For any health-related concerns, it is advisable to consult with a qualified healthcare professional or medical practitioner. For more insightful stories and fun recipes, stay tuned to Motherhood Story!