Everyone has been concerned with the spread of swine flu (H1N1) all over the world. Now that summer holidays are almost over in the western countries, children will be heading back to school soon. What should a parent do if your child is unwell? It all depends. There is no one straight or correct answer. School activities and enrichment classes or after-school classes / activities have to go on. This is life.
What we choose to do is based largely on common sense. Children are taught basic hygiene and cleanliness as an essential part of their development and lifestyle. This ownership cannot be passed on to educators even though they take an active interest in raising the awareness. A parent’s daily observation before the child goes to school is important. If the child is unwell, the choice is either to stay home or wear a mask to school. If the child goes to school without a mask while the body resistance may be down, the chances of the child picking up something from the air – whether on the school bus, during recess, or in the community becomes greater. It is a calculated risk and parents, we often would take the easy way out and keep the child at home.
Just as life in school continues, enrichment classes are on-going and are an essential part of a child’s development. Living with the fear of contracting swine flu and staying away from school and/or enrichment classes eventually gives the child a reason to be excused. This is contrary to teaching the values of commitment. Helen O’Grady drama system values commitment – a child’s commitment to regular classes and active participation in it. Our teachers take precautions like school teachers would in monitoring the children attending classes and take active interest in your child’s health. Therefore, I hope that all children will go to classes happily, healthily and have fun without living their lives in fear of the H1N1 virus.