There are proactive things you can do to safeguard your kids when back to school time rolls around. Set aside some time to review these tips with them to help make it a healthy school year:
Put germs on pause. Germs go back to school too. Help your kids break the habit of touching their faces. You can remind them that touching an infected door knob or even a pen and then touching their faces can mean getting sick. Go over the importance of thoroughly washing their hands to further reduce the risk of spreading germs.
Re-establish routine. Stick to a routine that includes healthy lunches, homework right after school and an early bedtime (Older kids need 8 hours of sleep and younger children should snooze for at least 10 hours. Less than that can put kids at a greater risk for getting sick.).
Leave lice behind. Remind your children not to share their hats, combs, clothes or hair ties. Also caution them to avoid throwing their backpacks in a pile because that can mean transporting very unwelcome guests—lice—home.
Lighten the load. When choosing a backpack, look for wide, padded shoulder straps, a padded back and a lightweight option. To prevent back-pack related injuries, help your kids spread the weight of the load throughout all compartments and always use both shoulder straps when wearing.
Get a physical before they get physical. Cliff Gazda, MD, a primary care physician with HonorHealth Medical Group, advises parents to help kids avoid getting hurt or sick on the field, court or track, by being prepared. Start by making sure your kids see a doctor for a sports physical to make sure their bodies are ready for the season ahead.
Stay current on vaccinations. They not only keep your child healthy, they also contribute to the health of your community, according to Patrick Knowles, MD, a primary care physician with HonorHealth Medical Group.
Questions? Concerns? Ask your child’s doctor for advice.