MANILA — With more students expected to return to schools when the new academic year opens next week, children should bring a "COVID-19 Go Bag" with essential items, a pediatrician suggested on Tuesday.
Dr. Cynthia Cuayo-Juico from the Manila Doctors Hospital said these essential items include the following.
- See-through washable pouch
- Extra face mask that fits the child properly
- Alcohol or sanitizer
- Tissue paper
- Wet wipes
- Parents' calling cards or paper containing the contact details of parents or guardians
- Child's vaccination card
Cuayo-Juico discouraged the use of adult-size face mask for kids.
"Especially children dapat po nakatakip din sa baba... kailangan nakatakip ang ilong. Kapag pang adult iyan nalalaglag iyan siempre," Dr. Cuayo-Juico explained.
(For children, the face mask should cover the chin. The nose should also be covered. If they wear adult-sized masks, these will fall off.)
As much as possible, medical-grade masks should be used instead of cloth masks. Wearing them on lanyards is not recommended, the doctor said.
"Iyong cloth mask kasi hindi masyado advisable sa bata kasi hindi niya nafi-filter," Cuayo-Juico said.
(Cloth masks are not advisable for children because these do not filter the air.)
"Ayaw na ayaw ko din pong makita na may mask tapos naka kwintas, kasi pagkain mo ibabagsak mo na ganyan, eh di nalaglag na ang mask mo napunta na doon sa katawan, nako-contaminate na siya," she added.
(I don't like to see masks on lanyards because when you eat, you take off the mask and it comes in contact with your body, thereby contaminating it.)
After eating, children must throw away the old mask and use a new one. Masks should be folded in half and ear loops should be tied together before disposal, the doctor recommended.
Aside from the COVID-19 go bag, teachers should also prepare essential items inside the classroom, including extra masks and alcohol, Cuayo-Juico said.
"Dapat mayroon kang tissue paper na kahit magandang toilet paper lang, wag ka maglalagay ng cloth kasi kapag marami ang humipo doon ay huwawa ang susunod na baka may impeksyon," she recommended.
(There should be toilet paper in the classroom. Don't put a cloth towel because many kids will touch that, there might be infections.)
"Be listo, dapat ang teacher nakapag sisinghot-singhot tawagan na ang nanay, huwag na papasukin ang bata," she added.
(Teachers must be alert. If a child is sniffing, call the parent right away and have him or her sent home.)