As students begin returning to school, it is important to teach your children some safety precautions to take before classes start. These preventive actions should be reinforced on a daily basis no matter the age of your child. Here are some safety tips to teach your children.


1. Keep hands clean

Parents should teach their children to wash their hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds whenever they can, but especially after a class or during break time. Besides that, you can watch videos with your children on how to properly wash hands according to healthcare experts. Teaching your child to use hand sanitiser is alternative way to keep your child’s hands clean. Demonstrate the use of hand sanitiser by taking a sufficient amount of sanitiser and rubbing your hands together until they feel dry. 


2. Wear a mask

Remind your children to always wear a mask whenever they are among other people. Teach them also how to wear a mask correctly. One tip to encourage your child to wear a mask is by buying them colourful and medically approved face masks. If they prefer to wear disposable ones, ensure that they dispose the mask after every use. However, if they choose to wear cloth masks, teach your children to wash their face mask after each use. 


3. Practice physical distancing

Educate your children to keep an appropriate distance from other people, be it their classmates or teachers in school. Tell them that handshakes or hugs are not allowed (for the moment), or that they should avoid sitting too close to their classmates. Do explain to them the reasons physical distancing is necessary during the COVID-19 pandemic. 


4. Cover when sneeze or cough

Being tactful around other people is important, especially during these times. Teach your children to cover their mouths or noses with a tissue or a handkerchief if they cough or sneeze in public. Also, ensure that your child brings a pack of tissue or a handkerchief to school every day. Explain to your child how coughing or sneezing openly can easily transmit germs and diseases to other people.


Other things to note:

1. Take your child to see the doctor if necessary

If your child has flu-like symptoms or a fever that does not subside, you should take him/her to see the doctor for advice on whether he/she should return to school or not. During the visit, you can also ask the doctor to follow-up on any upcoming essential vaccinations for your child. To help boost your child’s immune system, you can ask the doctor to recommend supplements that would suit your child’s needs. 


2. Provide age-appropriate explanations 

For children in preschool or kindergarten, the use of simple language to give brief information about COVID-19 would be best. You can tell your children to be a good student by keeping themselves clean and healthy in class to protect their classmates and their family members from getting sick. As for children in primary school, you can share some simple facts about COVID-19 with them such as how the disease spreads and share news updates about the situation in the country. Explain to them the importance of practising safety precautions in school as it might put them or their family members at risk of getting infected by the virus. If your child is in high school, more in-depth issues of COVID-19 can be discussed together along with the latest facts and figures related to the disease. You can even ask your child to share some new information that they have recently read about COVID-19 on the news or on certain websites. 


Remind your child that their health and safety are very important especially during the ongoing pandemic. Advise your children that prevention is always better than cure. Whichever manner you choose to inform and educate your child about COVID-19, it is important not to scare your child or overwhelm them with information that may be too complex or frightening. Calm them down if they start to panic and give them some time to process the information. 


If you found this article helpful, you might be interested in these articles as well:

School Safety Measures during COVID-19 

Learning Strategies for Different Learning Styles 

How to Keep Children Motivated When Learning Online 

6 Tips on Self-Learning a Foreign Language 

Finding a Preschool for Your Preschooler (Pg. 62-63) 


To find out more about international schools in Malaysia, read the full copy of the Education Destination Malaysia: Guide to International Schools 2020/21 Edition here.