Mr Kenneth Kponor, Volta Regional Director, National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE), has said that it is the duty of all to ensure maximum protection of children in the school environment against the pandemic.
Mr Kponor, who was speaking in an interview, on the role of parents in ensuring safety of their children in school, underscored the need for parents to engage their children at home on the importance of wearing masks and also practice the wearing at home to empower them to do so.
Some children do not know how to wear and remove the mask properly, he said, adding that if a person did not wear and remove it properly, the possibility of such a person contracting the virus was high, so parents had to teach their children to ensure their safety.
The Director said hand hygiene was very important in the fight against the pandemic, urging parents to do it regularly at home so that their children could also do it to help stem the spread of the disease.
Children have to be sensitised to avoid rubbing their eyes, picking their nose, biting their nails or putting fingers in their mouths to protect them from COVID-19 infection, he said.
The Director implored parents to provide hand sanitizer and pocket tissue for their children to sanitise their hands and cover their nose or mouth when they feel the urge to sneeze or cough respectively.
“There is the need to reiterate the importance of not hugging to other children, assure them they can chat with their friends but they should be in a nose mask and walk beside their friends whilst chatting. They should not stand facing each other,” he added.
Mr Kponor said some children were apprehensive about their safety in the school, therefore parents should avoid engaging in negative comments especially about their dislike of the school going process, but rather assure them of their safety so far as they comply with the established protocols to allay their fears.
The Director said one key protection against the effect of the virus was a strong immune system, therefore, it was important for parents to feed their children with a balanced diet and ensure adequate daily intake of fruits and vegetables rich in vitamin C.
The Director called on parents to support “the stay home if unwell” policy of the school, so they would let their children who were indisposed to stay home, ensure their full recovery before sending them back to school.
Mr Kponor said even if the child did not have the novel coronavirus, he or she was likely to have reduced immunity as a result of the illness, and hence would be at high risk of contracting the virus if it happened to be lurking around the school environment.