While the vaccine campaign has allowed us to return to life much closer to normal, it is important to remember that the pandemic is still very much with us. This is largely because vaccination rates remain inadequate in some parts of the country, and we are faced with a more infectious variant, the Delta Variant. While college students are excited to return to campus, spend time with their friends, and experience everything that college has to offer, it is important to place safety first. As your student returns to school, it is important to make sure your student is prepared. What are a few important points you need to keep in mind?

What To Pack for Your College Student

Of course, your college student needs to bring all of his or her typical belongings required for school. At the same time, there are several specific items that college students need to bring to stay safe this year. They include:

  • Thermometers: Thermometers are important for making sure your student can check his or her temperature. Make sure your student knows how to check it and is aware that a fever is defined as a core body temperature of above 100.4 degrees.
  • Anti-Inflammatory Medications: If your student does develop a fever, then he or she may want to take medications to feel more comfortable. It is important to provide your student with Tylenol and ibuprofen. Make sure your student is aware of the appropriate dose of each.
  • Masks: Of course, your student has to bring plenty of masks as well. Even though there might not be a mask mandate currently, conditions can change in the future.  Furthermore, it is certainly reasonable to wear a mask even without a mandate, especially for those with other health problems or weak immune systems.
  • Hand Sanitizer: Your students should also bring plenty of hand sanitizer.
  • Insurance Card: Be sure your student has an up-to-date health insurance card with them in case they need to be evaluated.  Educate them on the differences between visits to a doctor’s office, and urgent care or an emergency room, the associated copays, etc.

With these items, your student should be prepared to go back to school this year.

What College Students Need To Look For

College students must monitor themselves for the signs and symptoms of a coronavirus infection. Even if your student has been vaccinated, there is still a very small chance he or she could develop a coronavirus infection. A few symptoms to watch for include:

  • The development of a fever, which is a body temperature over 100.4 degrees F.
  • Diffuse muscle aches and pains that are similar to the flu.
  • Difficulty breathing including coughing, congestion, or shortness of breath.
  • Younger people may first develop intestinal symptoms.

If your student has any of these signs or symptoms, he or she needs to seek medical care immediately.

Mental Health Adjustments for Parents and Students

Finally, as college students go back to school, it is important to make mental health adjustments. Especially for freshmen, the demands of college can be stressful.  Students may become overwhelmed by adding the health protocols to their already challenging situation. Parents may also be worried about the health and safety of their children. It is important to take a deep breath, step back, and provide time to decompress every day. Furthermore, it is important to reach out to trained mental health professionals for help managing the stress of this school year. The most important thing parents and students need to remember is that they are not alone.  Nearly every college has free counselors available to assist with the emotional challenges students face.

Contact CapRock Health with Any Questions or Concerns

As your student gets ready to go back to school, it is also important for him or her to understand that medical professionals are available to answer any questions or concerns. That is where we can help. We are CapRock Health, and it is our goal to change the face of healthcare in the local area. We have trained professionals with years of medical experience and we offer a truly patient-centered experience. We provide emergency medicine specialists, nurses, and state-of-the-art facilities that are designed to maximize your healing process. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you and your college student this year.