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Safe Return to School Guide

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Thibodaux Regional Health System has been a leader in helping the region navigate the COVID 19 pandemic In its on going efforts and commitment to the safety and well being of patients staff and the community Thibodaux Regional Health System has partnered with the Houma Thibodaux Diocese and your child s school to provide a safe return during the Coronavirus pandemic Enclosed are some guidelines to assist you in mitigating the spread of COVID 19 and helping to keep children safe and well this school year Resources Thibodaux Regional Health System www thibodaux com news coronavirus 985 493 4577 Centers for Disease Control www cdc gov coronavirus Louisiana Department of Health www ldh la gov coronavirus Information per CDC guidelines August 2021

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Talk With Your Child About What to Expect This School Year Explain to your child that the measures being taken are to help keep them their teachers and families healthy and safe Points to consider discussing include Students may be asked to sit only with siblings or alone in a seat on the school bus Social distancing will be expected in the classroom lunchroom playground and in the hallway and bathrooms Desks will be farther apart Lunch may not take place in the cafeteria students may be having lunch in the classroom If lunch is served in the cafeteria students will be spread out Break recess and PE will be different There may be more breaks for hand washing during the day Students may be asked to wash upon arrival several times during the day and before going home Wearing masks may make it harder to understand what the teacher is saying It may be harder for the teacher to understand students It is important for students to let the teacher know if they are having difficulty hearing what is being said Discourage gathering before and after school Some families may choose home school or virtual learning so some of your friends may not be at school this fall

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When to Keep Your Child Home from School If your child is sick regardless of the illness If your child has tested positive for COVID 19 Talk with your healthcare provider about safe return to school If you child is showing any symptoms of COVID 19 including but not limited to o Fever or chills oral temperature of 100 4 o Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing o Muscle or body aches o New loss of taste or smell o Congestion or runny nose o Cough o Fatigue o Headache o o Sore throat Nausea or vomiting o Diarrhea If your child has had close contact with a person with COVID 19 Close contact meaning your child has o o o o Been within 6 feet for at least 15 minutes of someone who has COVID 19 Had direct physical contact with someone with COVID 19 touched hugged kissed them Shared eating and drinking utensils with someone with COVID 19 Had someone with COVID 19 sneeze cough or somehow get respiratory droplets on them

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Teach Your Child Proper Handwashing Technique Explain to your child that clean hands are important for staying healthy Show them don t just tell them proper handwashing Wet hands with clean running water Use soap and lather and rub for at least 20 seconds Teach your child to hum the Happy Birthday song all the way through two times Be sure to get between fingers around and under finger nails and the backs of hands Rinse thoroughly Dry with paper towel or air dry Do not use a hand dryer If soap and water are not available use hand sanitizer with at least 60 alcohol paying close attention to get it between fingers and on backs of hands Let hands air dry Teach Your Child Respiratory Etiquette Explain to your child that respiratory droplets are the way that germs including COVID 19 are spread and to keep friends their teacher and family members safe when they feel a cough or sneeze coming on it is important that they Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue Throw the tissue away right after use Wash hands immediately after throwing away used tissue If no tissue available cough or sneeze into the elbow

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Keep Your Child Healthy There s no quick boost to better health It takes time balance and consistency to fight off infections whether COVID 19 flu or seasonal colds Eat Healthy Diets that consistently include plenty of fresh fruits and green leafy vegetables can keep us healthier Avoid processed foods refined carbs sugar and high fat foods Get Vaccinated Make sure your child is up to date on vaccinations Not sure what your child needs when The CDC offers a guide at https www cdc gov vaccines index html Also be sure everyone in your household six months and older gets a flu shot Get Moving Guidelines from the Department of Health and Human Services say children and adolescents age 6 and older need at least an hour a day of physical activity Most of the hour should be either moderate or vigorous aerobic activity Get Enough Sleep School aged children 6 13 years need 9 11 hours of sleep per night and teenagers 14 17 years need 8 10 hours according to the Sleep Foundation

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Plan and Prepare If an outbreak of COVID 19 occurs in your community your child s school may dismiss students to prevent further spread of the virus therefore it is important to plan and prepare AHEAD of time Talk with your employer about sick leave and telework options in case you need to stay home with your child Consider a plan with a spouse or family member to alternate childcare arrangements Talk with your child s school about options for distance learning Know where to get the latest information about school closings school s social media channels email news media Make sure your child s school has up to date contact info for you email work phone cell phone Families with Medically Fragile Children Children who are medically complex who have serious genetic neurologic metabolic disorders and with congenital since birth heart disease might be at increased risk for severe illness from COVID 19 Similar to adults children with obesity diabetes asthma and chronic lung disease or immunosuppression might be at increased risk for severe illness from COVID 19 Distance learning from home may be a consideration for families with medically fragile children Consult your healthcare provider

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Help Your Child Cope with COVID 19 Related Stress Not all children and teens respond to stress in the same way Watch for signs of stress or behavior changes like o Excessive worry or sadness o Unhealthy sleeping habits o o o o Unhealthy eating habits Difficulty with attention and concentration Irritability and acting out behaviors in teens Unexplained headaches or body pain Ease your child s stress related to COVID 19 by o Answering questions about the virus o Limiting exposure to news coverage including social media o o o Talking about how to stay safe Being a role model Spending time with your child doing meaningful activities IMPORTANT NOTE Children and teens react in part to what they see from the adults around them When parents deal with COVID 19 calmly and confidently they can provide the best support for the children

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Take Care of Yourself The school year can be stressful for families when there s not a pandemic If you feel overwhelmed and overly stressed talking it out with someone like another parent neighbor friend family member or clergy can be helpful In addition the Louisiana Department of Health Behavioral Health Recovery Outreach Line can provide immediate counseling to anyone who is seeking help in coping with the mental or emotional effects caused by developments related to the coronavirus pandemic Just call 1 833 333 1132 for recovery and coping strategies In addition to caring for your mental and emotional health remember to take care of your physical well being Health care professionals are seeing increased illnesses attributed to COVID 19 stress These include high blood pressure GERD adult acne headaches eczema weight gain hair loss IBS and heart attacks Consult with a doctor and don t delay care if experiencing any symptoms out of the ordinary

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Wear Face Covering Correctly Wash or sanitize hands before putting on face covering Put it over the nose and mouth and secure it under the chin Try to fit it snugly against the sides of the face Make sure breathing is easy Don t put face covering around neck or on forehead Don t touch the face covering once it is on Never swap face coverings Label face covering with name Take Off Face Covering When Arrive Home Untie the strings behind your head or stretch the ear loops Handle only by the ear loops or ties Fold outside corners together Place covering in the washing machine Be careful not to touch your eyes nose or mouth when removing and wash hands immediately after removing More face covering recommendations from the CDC can be found at www CDC gov

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Daily Check List Before School Each Morning Do not send your child to school if they show ANY symptoms of ANY type of illness r YES r YES r YES Temperature of 100 4 or higher Sore throat Cough for students with chronic cough due to allergies or asthma a change in their cough from usual r YES Difficulty breathing for students with asthma check for a change from their baseline breathing r YES r YES r YES Diarrhea or vomiting New onset of severe headache especially with a fever New loss of taste or smell Check your child for these symptoms before they go to school Check symptoms for changes from usual or baseline health If your child DOES have any of the symptoms above Keep them home from school Get your child tested for COVID 19 Contact your child s school and report that your child is sick The school may ask some additional questions to help determine when it is safe for your child to return to school and about other people who may have been exposed If the answer to EVEN ONE of these questions is yes DO NOT send your child to school

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602 North Acadia Road Thibodaux LA