Binders, pencils and facemasks. Parents might be feeling extra anxious with this year’s back to school preparations, especially when this year’s back to school lists may warrant a trip to the pharmacy.
“Pharmacists don’t have specific recommendations or guidelines for parents, besides whatever their school district is providing them,” Corrine Sloan, a pharmacist from Fisher’s Pharmasave, said.
Sloan is, however, recommending parents pack hand sanitizer and a properly fitted disposable or reusable mask. When it comes to masks, Sloan recommends picking one their children have had practice wearing.
“It’s important for parents to start getting their kids to wear a mask,” Sloan said. “So that their first day of school they’re not having to wear it for six hours and they’ve never put one on before. It takes some time getting used to.”
John Eshak, a pharmacist with Lacombe IDA Pharmacy, is suggesting parents keep a checklist of what kids should have prepared in their school bags. He recommends a small pack of hand sanitizer and a plastic bag to dispose of or to keep used masks in. This way the masks don’t become a source of contamination.
“One of the important points is to train the kids not to touch, at least not to touch the body of the mask to their hands,” said Eshak. “They need to be trained, to the best of the parent’s ability, how to take off the mask from the little strand on the side and not to touch the whole mask itself, so the mask does not become a source of contamination rather than a protection measure.”
Eshak says, no matter what age group, it is important not to scare kids when talking to them about public safety measures.
“Try to be easy when you are talking to them, don’t stress them out – that’s just my opinion. Tell them why it’s important: the breath or the droplets can travel two metres and that’s why we want to put on a barrier, “Eshak said. “It’s proven in studies that this is an effect public health measure, in an unprecedented time.
“Yes, it’s not convenient, it’s not normal, definitely. But it is effective for the interim until we find out a stronger better vaccine or god has a mercy on the world.”