Families prepare for first day of school in NWA and the River Valley

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BENTONVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — Local families are getting ready to send their children back to the classroom for a new school year.

One Northwest Arkansas mom, Sonia Spinks, said preparing her family for back to school during COVID-19 brings up a lot of emotions.

“We have a lot of excitement, some anxiety as well,” Spinks said.

Dr. Ndidibuike Ukwe, a pediatrician, said he understands parents might be concerned about their children returning to in-person learning. However, Dr. Ukwe said there are some ways parents can help keep kids safe and healthy this year.

“Encourage the child to mask up, use social distancing, and always wash their hands and use hand sanitizer,” Ukwe said.

“Give your children a balanced diet including fruits and vegetables, and then it can help to boost the immune system by giving them vitamin C,” Ukwe said.

Dr. Ukwe said if a child feels sick, parents should keep their child home from school. He then recommends calling the doctor. Dr. Ukwe said it can sometimes be hard to separate symptoms of COVID-19 from other illnesses in kids.

“If there’s any history of exposure, such as a child at school that’s tested positive, and just by getting sick, even if it’s just weakness or tightness or body aches, it makes sense for the child to get tested or call the regular doctor and discuss that with them,” Ukwe said.

Spinks said she has stocked up on masks and other school essentials to keep her children safe this school year. She said even though she is nervous to send her kids back to the classroom, Spinks is optimistic for them to learn and grow.

“They’re going to make memories this year that are going to be really amazing,” Spinks said. “They’re going to learn and grow in ways that we never imagined, they’re incredibly resilient in ways that we don’t give them enough credit for.”

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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