Is it Safe to Send Kids Back to School During COVID-19 and Flu Season?
So far, 2020 has been a nightmare for many due to the physical and emotional toll of COVID-19. As flu season approaches, the challenge of distinguishing between the two illnesses becomes even more difficult. This raises the question of whether it is advisable to send children back to school. Experts have weighed in on this matter.
Similarities and Differences Between COVID-19 and Flu
Both COVID-19 and flu have similar symptoms, making it hard to differentiate between the two. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), both viruses lead to respiratory diseases that can range from asymptomatic to life-threatening. They are transmitted through droplets, contacts, and fomites, requiring similar public health measures for prevention.
Differences Between COVID-19 and Flu
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) highlights some differences between COVID-19 and flu. While both viruses spread in similar ways, COVID-19 is more contagious among specific age groups. Additionally, the time it takes for symptoms to appear after exposure differs between the two viruses.
Importance of Vaccination
Vaccination is available for flu but not yet for COVID-19. While clinical trials are underway for a COVID-19 vaccine, no promising results have been reported. On the other hand, flu vaccines are readily available and should be taken annually to prevent flu infection.
Considerations Before Sending Kids Back to School
Parents must consider various factors before deciding whether to send their children back to school. These include work schedules, childcare arrangements, and the safety of their children. In-person learning is more beneficial for younger kids and those with special needs, while high school students can continue learning online.
Safety Measures for Schools
Schools play a vital role in children’s holistic development, but they must implement adequate safety measures. These measures include cleaning and sanitizing common areas, frequent handwashing, wearing face masks, maintaining social distancing, and implementing staggered schedules to reduce the risk of community transmission. Schools should also have contingency plans in case of positive cases within the premises.
Sending kids back to school during COVID-19 and flu season requires careful consideration. While children are less likely to catch COVID-19, it is essential to follow specific preventive measures. Parents should consult local health authorities and ensure that schools are implementing proper safety measures. By taking these precautions, schools can prioritize the safety of children while minimizing the risk of spreading COVID-19.