What to do with kids’ school uniform at the end of each day

SCHOOL kids have been returning to their classrooms after the coronavirus lockdown in a phased process that started last week. 

Schools have been implementing safety procedures, but what should parents do with their children’s uniforms when they return home at the end of the day?

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What is the guidance for cleaning school uniforms?

Currently there is a phased return process for kids in Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 – and not all schools are requiring pupils wear uniforms. 

However, whether they wear uniforms or home clothes, you should ensure that clothes are washed at the end of the day. 

According to the NHS website, to prevent the spread of germs, “clothes should be washed at 60C (140F) or at 40C (104F) with a bleach-based laundry product”. 

You should make sure you don’t leave laundry in the washing machine, and should wash your hands after handling dirty laundry. 

Can germs get onto clothes?

According to the NHS website, yes, clothes and towels can spread germs.

It advises: "Germs on clothes and towels can come from our own body. We all have bacteria on the surface of our skin, in our noses and in our gut.

"These are often harmless, but some can cause infection, particularly in people with skin problems or wounds.

"Most germs cannot penetrate through normal skin but may harmlessly colonise it. Washing your hands regularly is likely to be significantly more important than clothes washing at preventing most infections.

"Most germs can survive on fabrics for some time."

Key questions answered about schools opening

Q. Should my child wear a face mask?

A. The Government advice is that they don’t have to.

Q. Do they have to go if they’re asthmatic?

A. If your child has an underlying health issue that makes them very vulnerable, such as severe asthma, you don’t have to send them in.

Q. Can I refuse to send my child back if someone else in the household is shielding?

A. Yes, children who live with someone who is very vulnerable if they catch Covid-19 should only go back if parents feel that there is enough social distancing and their child is old enough to understand and stick to those rules.

Does my kid have to wear a school uniform?

Not all schools are stipulating that pupils wear uniforms upon their return to the classroom from June 1.

The Sun Online has found that some are relaxing strict dress codes, and ditching uniforms altogether.

For example, Ranskill Primary School, near Doncaster, recommends: "Please send your child into school in sportswear:  joggers, T-shirt and trainers if you can."

But, Northwold School in Clapton, London, says: "Government guidance suggests that for infection control that all children come into school with clean clothes where possible.

What rules have chanegd in schools?

Schools have had to change the way they run to keep people safe.

For example, the Department for Education recommends:

  • All frequently touched surfaces, equipment, door handles and toilets need to be cleaned thoroughly each day
  • Try to reduce possible contact between different groups of children, and between adults, for example having corridors used on a one-way basis
  • Encourage frequent hand cleaning and good respiratory hygiene practices – use the ‘catch it, bin it, kill it’ approach
  • For primary schools, classes should be split in half, with no more than 15 pupils per small group and one teacher, plus – if needed – a teaching assistant, to create a safe 'bubble'
  • Schools are advised to stagger start and end times between year groups
  • Pupils are being told not to cough or spit at or towards any other person
  • Water bottles and school equipment can't be shared

"As the school reopens to more children, we are now asking that children wear school uniform.

"We acknowledge that this may be difficult for some families and we suggest that this could be supplemented with non-uniform clothing when needed."

The Sun has found that schools are generally keen to have kids wearing clothes which are easy to wash, as a precaution against spreading the coronavirus.

So, for practical reasons some are telling parents to forget about traditional schoolwear, and aim for the likes of T-shirts, hoodies and joggers.

As no firm rule has been set by government officials for wearing – or not wearing – uniforms, it's best to check your child's school website for guidance.

Here's how you can get kids ready for schools reopening after lockdown.

And Gavin Williamson reveals plans for more kids to return – but most to stay home until September.

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