In Safe Routes to School

The pandemic has caused major disruptions in the daily life of children and they are experiencing these changes in different ways. Some may be excited to return to school, while others may be feeling anxious and scared. Parents and teachers can help children navigate these complicated times by taking into consideration the following:  

  • Reassuring them it is normal to feel anxious to return to school after many months of online learning 
  • Teaching them ways to bond with their friends while staying distanced 
  • Remind them that although teachers and peers wearing protective gear looks unsettling to them, doing so will help keep each other safe. If they are young enough, it helps to make them think of the protective gear as a superhero costume  
  • Remind children how to safely sneeze, cough and wash hands regularly for 20 seconds 
  • When school starts online only, help them cope with being away from friends by assuring them that schools will open when everyone is safe 
  • Playing and drawing can help children express themselves and caregivers to assess how they cope  
  • It is important for adults to remain calm and manage for their emotions; Children take their emotional cues from adults in their lives, including parents and teachers 
  • Talk to children about bullying whether online or in person, let them know they are not alone and they can ask for help from a parent or teacher 
  • Teach children how to stay safe online  

For more information please see this unicef.org article. 

 

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