By Ty Russell

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – More students in South Florida will be returning to the classroom Friday morning. Health experts have released ways how they can stay healthy during the COVID-19 pandemic.

One way is to make sure your child has an extra mask.

“It’s going to be a long day and things happen. Mask can fall on the floor. There’s PE. There’s recess. They may get sweaty,” Lina Puntervold said.

Puntervold is a nurse and an infection control practitioner at Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital.

She said your child should have their own hand sanitizer as well. It’ll help during lunch when it’s time to place the mask on a paper towel and eat.

“When you’re going to remove your mask, it’s important not to touch the front of the mask. You want to touch the earlobes. You take off the mask, place the top part—the outside part – down,” she said Thursday.

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Puntervold is still seeing an increase in children getting the virus statewide. Most are high school aged.

She notes a quarter of cases among kids and teens are asymptomatic. The others will have fevers, coughs, or even body aches to name a few.

That’s why mask cleanliness is key to helping slow the spread.

“You may want to hand wash that mask daily and lay it down flat so it dries for the next day,” she recommended. “Or, if you like, buy several masks so that you have one for the next day.”

Puntervold wants parents to also ask students about safety measures at their school. She says it’s going to take a combined effort from administrators and parents to keep COVID-19 out of the classroom.

Health experts also recommend getting children used to wearing a mask for hours on end. Puntervold said it took some in the hospital to get to used to wearing it throughout the day.

Click here to view the 10 tips for a safe return to school from Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital.

Ty Russell

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