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Patients, visitors, staff and healthcare providers can find the latest COVID-19 updates here.

Back to School

About

 

McMaster Children's Hospital

Image of Bruce Squires

Whether your child is learning from home, in the classroom, or a combination of both this school year, we support you in your decision. We recognize the challenges the COVID-19 pandemic has brought to families who are balancing school, work and many other responsibilities.

We’ve enlisted the help of McMaster Children’s Hospital staff and doctors to share some practical information to support families during the transition back-to-school. Our experts have created some informal videos for you to use as a resource during this unusual time.

In this section of our website, you’ll find a series of videos on a variety of topics including infection prevention and control, child and youth mental health, and navigating the start of school for children with autism.

McMaster Children’s Hospital is open, providing both in-person and online appointments for our community during the pandemic. We are here when you need us. We wish you all the best this school year.

– Bruce Squires, President of McMaster Children’s Hospital

Click a video to play.

An illustration showing a family wearing masks, washing hands and physically distancing. Text: Back to school - Top 5 infection prevention tips for families

Top 5 infection prevention tips

An illustration showing how to wear a mask correctly over the nose and mouth. Text: Back to school - General masking tips

General masking tips

Illustration of a red alarm with question marks, and children sitting in a classroom wearing masks. Text: Back to school - COVID-19 risk to children

COVID-19 risk to children

Illustration of two people wearing masks, with a question mark in between them.

Can children spread COVID-19?

An illustration showing an adult kneeling and speaking to a child, text "Back to school - talking to children about COVID-19"

Talking to children about COVID-19

An illustration of a child imagining a calm yoga pose, with a school in the background. Text: Back to school - radical acceptance

Radical acceptance

An illustration of an adult exercising with hand weights and a child mimicking her. Text: Back to school - role modelling.

Role modelling

An illustration of a child kicking away a thought bubble with an angry shadow inside it. Text: Back to school - challenging unhelpful thoughts

Challenging unhelpful thoughts

An illustration showing two children, one reading a book and the other riding a bike. Text: Back to school - Taking control during times of change

Taking control during times of change

An illustration showing a salad, a child running, and a cell phone with a do-not-use symbol. Text: Back to school - Tips to avoid the cycle of anxiety

Avoiding the cycle of anxiety

An illustration of a frowning child with thought-bubble question marks. Text: Back to school - Advice for coping with uncertainty

Coping with uncertainty

An illustration showing a child cowering below a monster shadow outside a school. Text: Back to school - managing school-related anxiety

Managing school-related anxiety

An illustration of a child wearing a facemask near a schoolbus. Text: "Back to school - Autism & Returning to School."

Autism & returning to school

An illustration of a child wearing a facemask, with two other masks in the background, one showing a smile decoration. Text: Back to school - Autism & wearing a mask

Masking for children with autism

An illustration of two boys wearing masks, with an arrow between them showing two metres. Text "Back to school: Autism & Physical Distancing"

Physical distancing for children with autism

An illustration showing a child using a step-stool to reach a sink and wash their hands. Text: "Back to school: Autism & handwashing and sanitizing"

Hand-washing for children with autism

An illustration of a child in a wheelchair outside of a school. Text: Back to school - mobility issue,s orthotics and wheelchairs

Mobility issues, orthotics & wheelchairs

An illustration of two people - a child with a thermometer, an adult with a face mask and shield. Text: COVID 19 test for children, BC Children's Hospital

COVID-19 testing for children

Youth and doctor with letters Q&A in between

Back to school Q&A

Infection Prevention

Wearing a mask, hand washing, and physical distancing are important safety measures to decrease your risk of contracting COVID-19. This school year is unique and we all have to do our part to prevent the spread of the virus so we can have a safe return to the classroom for all of our children.

An illustration showing a family wearing masks, washing hands and physically distancing. Text: Back to school - Top 5 infection prevention tips for families

Top 5 infection prevention tips

An illustration showing how to wear a mask correctly over the nose and mouth. Text: Back to school - General masking tips

General masking tips

Illustration of a red alarm with question marks, and children sitting in a classroom wearing masks. Text: Back to school - COVID-19 risk to children

COVID-19 risk to children

Illustration of two people wearing masks, with a question mark in between them.

Can children spread COVID-19?

Mental Health

It’s normal for times of change and uncertainty to take a toll on a person’s mental health. Here are some coping strategies to parents and children.

An illustration showing an adult kneeling and speaking to a child, text "Back to school - talking to children about COVID-19"

Talking to children about COVID-19

An illustration of a child imagining a calm yoga pose, with a school in the background. Text: Back to school - radical acceptance

Radical acceptance

An illustration of an adult exercising with hand weights and a child mimicking her. Text: Back to school - role modelling.

Role modelling

An illustration of a child kicking away a thought bubble with an angry shadow inside it. Text: Back to school - challenging unhelpful thoughts

Challenging unhelpful thoughts

An illustration showing two children, one reading a book and the other riding a bike. Text: Back to school - Taking control during times of change

Taking control during times of change

An illustration showing a salad, a child running, and a cell phone with a do-not-use symbol. Text: Back to school - Tips to avoid the cycle of anxiety

Avoiding the cycle of anxiety

An illustration of a frowning child with thought-bubble question marks. Text: Back to school - Advice for coping with uncertainty

Coping with uncertainty

An illustration showing a child cowering below a monster shadow outside a school. Text: Back to school - managing school-related anxiety

Managing school-related anxiety

Autism

Preparing your child with autism to return to school may require extra steps due to COVID-19.

An illustration of a child wearing a facemask near a schoolbus. Text: "Back to school - Autism & Returning to School."

Autism & returning to school

An illustration of a child wearing a facemask, with two other masks in the background, one showing a smile decoration. Text: Back to school - Autism & wearing a mask

 Masking for children with autism

An illustration of two boys wearing masks, with an arrow between them showing two metres. Text "Back to school: Autism & Physical Distancing"

Physical distancing for children with autism

An illustration showing a child using a step-stool to reach a sink and wash their hands. Text: "Back to school: Autism & handwashing and sanitizing"

Hand-washing for children with autism

Additional Resources

Here are some additional resources to keep you informed.

Hamilton Public Health

Hamilton Wentworth District School Board

Hamilton Wentworth Catholic District School Board

District School Board of Niagara 

Niagara Catholic District School Board

An illustration of a child in a wheelchair outside of a school. Text: Back to school - mobility issue,s orthotics and wheelchairs

Mobility issues, orthotics & wheelchairs

An illustration of two people - a child with a thermometer, an adult with a face mask and shield. Text: COVID 19 test for children, BC Children's Hospital

COVID-19 testing for children

Illustration of two people wearing masks, with a question mark in between them.

Can children spread COVID-19?