AUGUSTA, Ga (WJBF) – More school systems are announcing plans for the academic year.
Now, parents are questioning whether to send their child into the classroom or opt for virtual learning from home.
As the owner of Shear Opulance Hair Salon, Kiona Beard is doing her part to protect customers against COVID-19.
She has a thermometer to take temps, hand sanitizer and face masks.
But, she admits keeping her 16 year old son safe while going to school this fall may be her toughest job.
She says, “we’ve already talked about him having the cleaning products as far as Clorox wipes and stuff like that. I’ve already ordered extra masks for him.”
While parents know the when.. where and why schools are opening.
The “how” has left a lot of people in the dark.
To shed light on the what’s right and wrong, Pediatric Emergency Medicine and Infectious Diseases Physician Doctor Jim Wilde of the Medical College of Georgia provided answers.
First up, should students wear masks?
“The American Academy of Pediatrics is not mandating masks. They are suggesting that it would helpful in situations where social distancing can’t be maintained,” Dr. Wilde explained.
Dr. Wilde says masks may be difficult for younger children in pre-school and kindergarten.
so, what about vitamins?
Certain supplements like C, D and Zinc have been touted as having the ability to help the body fight COVID-19.
“The average American child has a diet that supplies most of the vitamins that they need. If parents want to give extra vitamins to their kids that’s fine. But, is really not essential to do that. For the most part,” says Dr. Wilde.
He says the best defense against COVID-19 is the sun.
Turns out, soaking up the sun can dampen chances of getting viruses.
“Getting outside is by far the the best thing you could have a child do. Not just because it’s a safe place to be from COVID. UV light does kill COVID. It kills all viruses. It’s deadly to viruses. But, it’s also important for their well being psychologically.”
He says the same holds true when it comes to sending children into the classroom.
“If parents choose to keep their child home because the child has vulnerabilities, they have underlying medical problems, that’s okay. That’s reasonable. But, the vast majority of kids would do far better to be physically present in school. That’s why the American Academy of Pediatrics strongly recommends ‘send your child to school this fall.'”
Kiona Beard says that’s what she plans to do.
But not before preparing and praying.
“That panic mode did set in for me. I was like ‘what I supposed to do?’ Then, I had to remember my faith. So, what really helps me is my faith. My faith and my prayer,” she concludes.
Dr. Wilde says parents should not send sick kids to school.
He also says a temperature of 100.4 or greater is the threshold for fever.
Anything under that is in the normal range.