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Is Summer Really Over Already? By Basil Sarantis, Who Does NOT Have to Go Back to Classes This Year (Hurrah!).

Going back to school can be a stressful time for both parents and children. To help relieve a bit of this stress, I wanted to give everyone some health-related back to school tips for their youngsters to keep them healthy and happy this coming school year.

1)     Be sure your child is up to date on immunizations. Children are already very vulnerable to infection and disease and making sure your child has all the necessary immunizations is important to help protect not only them, but their classmates and teachers, as well. Parents should also communicate with the school nurse/office staff and make sure a copy of their child’s immunization records are on file at the school.

2)     Germ spreading prevention. Being in such close contact with other students, it is important to teach your child the importance of washing their hands regularly (or, at the minimum, using hand sanitizer), especially after they have used the restroom, have finished playing outside, or are going to eat. As parents, it is important to lead by example with this, because many children will respond much better when someone they look up to is doing the same things they should be doing. It is also important to stress to your children not to share food items like drinks or candy, and to not share other items like combs, brushes, and hats because this can lead to the spread of lice. Parents should also teach their children to cover their mouth with a tissue or sleeve when they are coughing or sneezing. Again, leading by example and reinforcement at home can help children get the message when it comes to germ-spreading prevention.

3)     Eating healthy.  It is important to teach your child about healthy eating habits. Many adolescents and teens who eat unhealthy are doing so because their parents have never taught them what healthy eating is. A high protein diet with fruits and vegetables and a limit on junk food is ideal, but not always realistic. If your child is a picky eater, consider using a children’s multivitamin to help “fill in the gaps” when it comes to nutrition. Controlling your child’s portion size is also a good way to help manage healthy eating.

4)     Knowing when to stay home. If you do notice your child is sick, do not hesitate to keep them home, for their safety and the safety of others. A fever of > 100oF or a constant cough are good indicators of when to let your child rest and stay home for the day.

5)     Animals in school.  Animals and pets are a great way to teach children responsibility while still having fun. Again, it is very important to teach your child proper hand washing and hygiene while handling animals. Proper supervision by adults is also important when children are around pets. Read more HERE.

Hopefully, these tips will make the start of a new school year a more enjoyable and healthy one!  Thanks for reading.

Sources:

Dr. Simon from New Medical Health Care articles.kwch.com

www.cdc.gov

 

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