As of August 17, 2021, almost 80% of Philadelphia adults have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. But, the pandemic is not over yet.

It’s important we continue working together to keep each other safe. Many children are too young to receive the vaccine. Everyone should take diligent steps to help stop the spread of the disease. Taking precautions also protects those who are most vulnerable.

Philadelphia students return to full in-person learning this fall. Here are 10 tips on keeping your child and family safe and healthy as you plan for the school year.

1. Book your child’s vaccination appointment

Check with your child’s pediatrician to ensure that they are up to date on their shots.

COVID-19 vaccines are available to children 12 and older. Check with your child’s pediatrician, or walk-in at virtually any local health center, vaccine clinic, or pharmacy.

2. Learn about safety measures at your child’s school

Does your child attend a School District of Philadelphia (SDP) school? Before your child heads back to class, read the latest safety measures on SDP’s school directory.

3. Continue following local COVID-19 guidelines

Stay informed about the latest local and national COVID-19 guidelines:

  • Visit the City’s official COVID-19 website.
  • Text COVIDPHL to 888-777 to get updates sent to your mobile phone.
  • Follow the Philadelphia Department of Public Health (PDPH) on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

4. Practice mask wearing with your child

Masks remain an important tool in slowing the spread of the virus and everyone must wear a mask in School District buildings. Encourage your child to wear their masks with these helpful tips.

5. Plan for the flu season

Plan for your child to receive their flu vaccine this fall. Once available, you will be able to find and schedule flu shot appointments online.

6. Talk to your child about their mental health and find outside supports

The pandemic has been tough on everyone. And the transition to the school year may bring new challenges and stresses. Check out the #mindPHL blog for mental health and well- being advice.

  • Experiencing a mental health emergency? Call the Philadelphia Crisis Hotline at 215-685-6440. Skilled and compassionate health professionals are available for support 24/7.
  • Feeling overwhelmed, alone, or need to talk? Call the Pennsylvania Support & Referral Helpline at 1-855-284-2494. Skilled and compassionate health professionals are available for support 24/7.

7. Sign your child up for a fun after school program

Your young learner will love an activity from the Out-of-School Time Program. Activities include performing arts and computer sciences. Use the Out-of-School Time Program Locator to see what’s available.

8. Make sure your child has a full backpack

Having the right supplies is essential when preparing for a great school year. Be sure to swing by a School District of Philadelphia school supply giveaway event.

9. Be patient

We understand things are starting to look and feel more normal. But it’s important to remember that we aren’t quite there yet.

We are all in this together. Let’s continue to work as a team, be kind, and have consideration for others.

10. Have a great school year

It’s crucial for students to feel safe, supported, and have fun in school. Be your student’s champion, and encourage them to put their best foot forward everyday.

Stay updated on back-to-school info including bell schedules and transportation Fare Cards.