Worrying about coronavirus and your child going back to school?

With schools set to open from September (or mid August in Scotland), it can be a worrying time for parents. Anxious feelings about your child going back to school without a coronavirus vaccine and the new rules can make it feel a bit overwhelming.

And this is all happening after a hard few months for most parents. It is not surprising that you might be worried about what will happen and how you will cope.

Child writing in school book

Managing staggered drop off and pick up times

Lots of schools are introducing staggered drop off and pick up times to help with social distancing. This can be difficult to manage if you are working.

  • If you have a partner, consider talking to them about whether they are able to help at all.
  • Think about your support network of friends and family and see if there is anyone who may be able to help out.
  • Talk to the school to see whether there are other families who have raised this and if they can offer any solutions.
  • Establish with the school whether this is going to be short-term or long-term so that you can make your plans accordingly.
  • Talk you your employer – explain the situation and see if there is any way they can be flexible at this time.

Keeping your family safe

  • Talk to the school/nursery about what systems they will have in place at school to try and ensure that risk is minimal and about your own concerns.
  • Talk to your child about staying safe and washing hands etc while they are at school/nursery.
  • Make a new routine for when they come home. This could include having a basket just inside the door for them to change out of uniform and putting it straight in the wash if this is something that worries you.

Helping your child with their own worries about seeing people

  • There are lots of books and resources written to help children understand what is happening.
  • Talk to them about what their concerns are. Give them time and space to share their worries. If they can’t talk about it they could write it down or draw what they are feeling. Let them know it’s ok to feel worried.
  • Use things like the Worry Tree to help your child explain their worries.
  • Find activities that you can do with others in safe places (like meeting another family at the park) so that they can start to socialise safely again. Take this at the pace of your child.
  • Talk about what we are all doing to keep safe (hand washing, social distancing and staying fit and healthy).

What happens if someone in the school tests positive?

  • Your child’s school/nursery will have a procedure in place for this.
  • If they haven’t shared it with you, contact them and ask what will happen should someone in the school tests positive.
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