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School superintendent on reopening: It felt scary
02:31 - Source: CNN
CNN  — 

Ping! It’s the email you’ve been dreading – your child may have been exposed to Covid-19 at school. How are you to cope with the possibility of 10 days of quarantine and the fear that your child – or another member of the family – may fall ill?

By being prepared, experts say. Here’s what you need to know and do.

Get ready now

Plan well in advance by setting up a structure in which all potential caregivers, including extended family members and friends, know their roles and expectations.

Provide every potential caregiver with a list of emergency phone numbers, including all family members, your health care provider, the local public health department, local hospital and ambulance service – just in case.

A fully vaccinated family member should be the primary caregiver for your child, said CNN Medical Analyst Dr. Leana Wen. Be sure to assign a backup in case the first choice is sidelined by work or other commitments.

If anyone in the family age 12 or older isn’t yet vaccinated, do so now, said Wen, who is an emergency physician and visiting professor of health policy and management at the George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health.

“Vaccination rate among kids 12 and older is really low,” she said. “Vaccinating that age group is an excellent way to protect younger children and vulnerable adults.”

It’s especially important for single parents to set up a network of fully vaccinated extended family, friends and neighbors who can help, Wen added.

“That way if you end up quarantined with your child, other people can help you with groceries and medications,” Wen said.