Expert explains how to reduce the risk of coronavirus exposure for kids

Expert explains how to reduce the risk of coronavirus exposure for kids

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Naturally, parents are concerned about their child’s exposure to the virus and how to reduce the risk if they return to the classroom this fall.

Le Bonheur Children's Hospital Chief Infectious Disease expert Dr. Sandy Arnold said a rotation of masks are crucial for the upcoming school year.

"The key to keeping your kids safe in school is keeping them from being exposed to the virus, and the best way you can do that is by having them wear a mask."

Dr. Arnold said kids should practice wearing one for long periods of time like they will have to do at school. She said giving them a mask they like can help.

"A lot of kids are enjoying wearing masks with their favorite characters on it and a lot of pretty patterns. Whatever gets your child to wear the mask is the most important thing," Arnold said.

Dr. Arnold suggests that parents start emotionally preparing their children to socially distance and stay at least six feet away from their friends.

"So parents talking to their children and explaining those rules to them, and I think repeatedly reminding them that they're not going to be able to go up close to their friends and talk to them quietly or in small groups. The kids are really going to have to work hard to try and stay apart," she explained.

Dr. Arnold encourages families to start a routine when kids come home from school where they wash their hands right away.

She said cloth masks should be rinsed and set out to dry.

Arnold stated that it probably will not be necessary to throw kids clothes in the wash as soon as they return home every day.

“I don’t think that any child at school is going to be exposed to that level of virus like a doctor in a hospital working on a floor full of COVID patients,” Dr. Arnold explained, “So I think that coming home and washing your hands is quite sufficient.”

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