Sending children to school any year can be challenging, but especially so this year with the COVID-19 pandemic.

If you're planning to send your children back to a brick and mortar school, what can you do to help protect your children?

Dr. Karen Landers is a district medical officer with the Alabama Department of Public Health.

We asked about whether the health department had specific requirements or recommendations regarding student safety at school.

Dr. Landers said, "Well, certainly, the Alabama Department of Education and the Alabama Department of Public Health have both been working very closely together to provide the best information that is based upon guidance from CDC (Centers for Disease Control) and other expert bodies.  We are also working on a tool kit that we will provide to the superintendents that will be a companion to the information that has already been provided."

Dr. Landers says a lot of parents have been asking her about masks and how to get their children to wear them.

She says one good idea is to practice with children on wearing a mask.

Dr. Landers said, "I actually have some little stuffed animals.  I show children how to put a mask on the stuffed animal and, then, they practice doing that and look at a mirror at themselves wearing a mask.  And something that's a mask that maybe represents a certain character or a favorite color."

With Governor Ivey extending the mandatory mask order, we asked Dr. Landers if she thought, so far, the mask requirement is working.

Dr. Landers said, "I do think we starting to see a bit of a trend, and I think that we can cautiously look at this over the next period of time that are we monitoring this, that we will see some impact again in the numbers of cases that we have right now in Alabama."

Dr. Landers also suggested another good source for information for parents is the website for the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Here is a link to that site:

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