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3 back-to-school health tips for students, parents

Family

3 back-to-school health tips for students, parents

Summer break is over, and students are back in classrooms getting the education they need for a bright and successful future.
The start of the school year is always an exciting time as students meet new teachers and reconnect with fellow classmates.
This year, with COVID-19 a continued threat in our region, many parents have questions about how to best protect their children from the disease.
For answers, we reached out to Tidelands Health pediatrician Dr. Lucretia Carter, who practices at Tidelands Health Pediatrics in Myrtle Beach.
Tidelands Health recently produced a back-to-school guide, The ABCs of Back-to-School Health, that contains helpful information from pediatric and family medicine experts, answers to questions about COVID-19 vaccination and the latest information on COVID-19 testing.

Are masks effective in schools?

Yes. Although masks are not required in schools, students are encouraged to wear them to help protect themselves and others.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends universal indoor masking by all students (ages 2 and older), staff, teachers and visitors within K-12 schools regardless of vaccination status.
A report released in late June by scientists from Duke University found that wearing masks was effective at preventing the spread of COVID-19 on buses and in schools even without physical distancing. The scientists examined data from March through June that was gathered from 100 North Carolina school districts and 14 charter schools representing nearly 1.3 million students.
“Masks can make a major difference in the transmission of COVID-19,” Dr. Carter says. “Be sure to wear them properly so they cover both mouth and nose.”

Get vaccinated

Everyone 12 and older is encouraged to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. The vaccine is safe and effective, and it’s the best way to slow the virus’ spread. There is no cost to you to be vaccinated, and Tidelands Health offers walk-in vaccination at three regional sites:

  • Tidelands Georgetown Memorial Hospital Harris Medical Pavilion entrance, 606 Black River Road, Georgetown every Monday, Tuesday and Friday, 9 a.m-4 p.m.
  • Waccamaw Medical Park West 4040 Highway 17, Suite 204, Murrells Inlet Monday-Thursday, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.
  • Tidelands Health Medical Park at The Market Common 2200 Crow Lane, Myrtle Beach Tuesday-Friday, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.

Wash your hands often and well

It’s easy to wash your hands, and it’s incredibly effective at preventing the spread of COVID-19 and other illnesses. Follow these five steps:

  1. Wet your hands with clean, running water (warm or cold), turn off the tap and apply soap.
  2. Lather your hands by rubbing them together with the soap. Lather the backs of your hands, between your fingers and under your nails.
  3. Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds. Need a timer? Hum the “Happy Birthday” song from beginning to end twice.
  4. Rinse your hands well under clean, running water.
  5. Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dry them.
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