‘Returning schoolchildren should wash their hands every hour’

22nd of March 2021
‘Returning schoolchildren should wash their hands every hour’

Hourly handwashing and other strict hygiene protocols are among the measures being mooted for children as India reopens its schools.

Other suggestions are that parents should ensure their young have a personal supply of soap and sanitiser in their school bags. And schools are being urged to clean the toilets more frequently to help ensure safety.

The Ministry of Education has finalised guidelines for the safe re-opening of schools in India. The closure of educational facilities due to COVID-19 has affected 247 million children enrolled in elementary and secondary schools in the country, a UNICEF report has found.

Online education is problematical since only one in four children in India has access to digital devices and internet connectivity.

Strict regimes need to be put in place to ensure student safety when schools reopen, according to hygiene experts. These include educating pupils to wash their hands at least once an hour.

Children should also be give a bath on returning home at the end of the day. And their school clothes should be washed daily to keep the virus at bay.

School transport is also said to pose a risk and parents and teachers are urged to ensure children wash their hands and faces on leaving the school bus.

And teachers are being told to be extra vigilant about checking for signs of infection among students and using strict protocols to manage such situations.

Meanwhile, parents are being asked to monitor the cleanliness and hygiene of their children's schools, and teachers are being urged to give details of all COVID-19 measures for maximum transparency.


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