Back to school can turn into a whirlwind of coordinating of school and activities for kids. This means increase stress, lack of sleep and inadequate nutrition for children. In addition, back to school means being back around other kids and can bring about nasty germs spreading from students and their family. We want to help kids be as healthy as they head back to school this year. Here are some tips to help keep your kids healthy this year.
The number one way to fight germs and prevent sickness is to practice hand hygiene. As colds and flus make their way through schools this year, practicing good hand hygiene gives one the ability to keep those nasty germs out of the home. Be sure to encourage hand washing with soap and water or hand sanitizer. A tip for parents with young children is to teach them to count to 10 slowly while washing their hands. Instilling this habit can prevent the travel of germs that causes colds, flus, meningitis and even Hepatitis A.
No matter the age, all kids need the proper amount of sleep every night. Although each group has its own recommended hours of need sleep every night, it is important to have a good sleep routing. Poor sleeping habits can lower grades, make kids irritable, and even contribute to illnesses. Be sure to set bedtime routines.
When children return to school, it can be easy to get wrapped up in the daily routines and forget about the basic necessities like fitness. If you make exercise a part of everyone in the home schedule early in the year, you will help to establish some necessary routines. It is important to know that children and adolescents need about 1 hour of physical activity everyday. Keep in mind that your child is only active about 25 minutes a week in physical education classes at school. This means that it is absolutely necessary to exercise at home. Statistics show that childhood obesity has more than doubled while adolescence obesity has quadrupled over the last 30 years. Making exercise a family event can make it easier for everyone in the home to be motivated.
Immunizations are important for all children. Even though the flu vaccine is not required, it is highly recommended for kids every year. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the flu virus killed more than 80,000 people. Anyone over the age of 6 months is eligible to take the flu vaccine. It is important to know that children under the age of 8 may actually need two doses of the vaccine in order for it to work.
When preparing for the upcoming school year, keep in mind these health and hygiene tips. Let me know your thoughts.
Temeria Wilcox, CRNP
Family Nurse Practitioner
Owner/CEO of NP Family Practice