Doctors explain what parents should add to back-to-school shopping list

Classroom Progress Report

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Less than three weeks from now most school districts will be opening their doors for full in-person learning for the first time in over a year. So how are parents shopping for the right supplies to be prepared for learning and health-wise? 

We know now districts are requiring masks for all students, so parents have been adding those to the list. On top of typical hygiene materials to keep by their sides which is well worth it for them to have their kids back in the classroom.  

Even though it has been a long time since students were welcomed back to a full classroom, doctors explain parents do not need to overthink during back-to-school shopping.   

“It is not that exciting of a list,” Pediatric Doctor Elizebeth Murray explained. “It is the regular school supplies plus masks, and if it is age-appropriate make sure they have their own hand gel and a box of tissues.” 

The latest data from the Department of Health show less than half of eligible grade school students in the Finger Lakes Region are fully vaccinated. Extra encouragement for many parents in the area to stock up on enough masks and other PPE (Personal Protection Equipment) to last all year. Others, not going that far. 

“I don’t overstock on things because there are more people who need that,” Neelan Naik of Brighton told us. “So, one box at a time which has 50 masks. Before that expires, we’ll get another one and we have backups as a cloth mask.” 

“Hand sanitizer for everyone, her own stock in pens and pencils,” Jennifer Snyder, a mother to Brighton Schools students added. “And any sort of art equipment that they need. Just pretty much they have everything available for themselves to use.” 

But daily parents need to keep an eye on when their kids are showing any symptoms coming home or have close contact with those infected. So, doctors advise you to get some up-to-date home medical supplies to check them with. 

“Any symptoms of potential illness need to be taken seriously instead of just saying oh my guess is it’s just allergies,” Dr. Murray stated. “Or maybe they stayed up really late last night. Any signs of illness let us take that seriously and bring your child to their healthcare provider.”  

“We have an oximeter and digital no-touch thermometer,” Naik said. “So, these are the two basic things we have kept some blood pressure machines just in case to be extra prepared.”  

For students, if it means getting back to playing sports and having a class with friends, they believe masking up will be worth it to go back.  

The school year will start after Labor Day for most districts. Parents we spoke with also add when shopping for backpacks, books, and other utensils they are making sure their kids have their own set to avoid touching the same materials with anyone they do not know. 

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