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Back to school - keeping kids protected

Family in the kitchen helping a child with homework
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Updated 19th July 2021 - We recommend the coronavirus page on the Government website for more up to date information.

From the 8th of March in England children are back at school. This can be a worrying time for many parents and guardians who want to make sure their children are protected from the spread of COVID-19.

That’s why we’ve put together our advice and our top tips to keep them safe at school. 

Please note: guidance is designed for people living in England. If you are living in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland you should follow local guidance.

Shop face masks

Should my child wear a face covering at school?

The Government have advised that mask wearing is no longer mandatory in public places, but some people and children may feel more comfortable continuing to wear a mask to and from and during the school day. 

To help you keep kids safe at school we have a range of face coverings available that are suitable for children, or for teens and adults.

How should my child put on a face covering?

It’s important that if they choose to wear a mask, that you teach your kids how to use it correctly.

The current advice from the WHO is:

  1. Before you put on a mask, clean your hands with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand sanitiser
  2. Cover your mouth and nose with the mask, and make sure there are no gaps between your face and the mask
  3. Avoid touching the mask while using it, if you do wash your hands with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand sanitiser
  4. Replace your mask with a new one as soon as it is damp and don’t re-use single-use masks
  5. To take your mask off, remove it from behind your head (don’t touch the front of the mask. If it is a disposable mask, discard it immediately in a closed bin and clean your hands with alcohol-based hand sanitiser or soap and water

If your child is using a reusable face mask you can find out how best to wash it in our how to wash a reusable face mask guide

Remind them to wash their hands

Most of us will know that we should be washing our hands as it’s the easiest way to protect ourselves, and others, from illnesses. It helps to remove dirt, viruses and bacteria, and it can stop these being spread to other people, objects and surfaces. But, to be most effective you need to be washing your hands correctly.

Make sure your children know to wash their hands for at least 20 seconds and ensuring they wash their whole hand. Here’s our handy guide.

Help them keep their immune system healthy

Our immune system helps keep us healthy and protect us from diseases. Now, more than ever, you might be wanting to keep your child’s immune system as healthy as possible.

Here are some top tips to help:

Make sure they get enough sleep

Over the summer holidays, your children might have fallen out of their usual sleep routine. But getting enough sleep is important to keep our immune systems healthy. Try to get them back into a routine that gives them time to get enough sleep. Read our good night's sleep guide for helpful tips. 

Encourage them to eat healthy

Fruit and vegetables are an important part of a healthy, balanced diet which can help you and your kids stay well. Try to incorporate some extra fruit and veg into your day where you can, for example adding fruit to your breakfast and some more veg at dinner time.

Keep them active

Your kids will spend most of their time at school sat at a desk, so make sure they get active when they can. Why not go for a family walk in the evening or go for a cycle together at the weekend. Read our guide for fun exercises the whole family can try.