As September draws to a close, most school-aged kids are officially back in class, expanding their minds, learning new tricks, and bringing home all kinds of germs! Keeping our kids healthy as they return to school has always been a general concern for parents, especially since it seems to coincide with the beginning of flu season. While in some ways, it may seem unavoidable, there are some things we can do to ensure our kids stay strong and healthy as they go back to school.
Have a Health Talk
Our kids are pretty bright. Sometimes, just talking about the importance of healthy habits is enough to make them aware of things they can do throughout the day to avoid germs. Talk about both the benefits of staying healthy and fit as well as the consequences of unhealthy choices. When your kids realize that health is a priority for you, they are more likely to act on it.
Keep Washing Those Hands
Research and studies continue to conclude that washing our hands regularly has a major impact on our ability to avoid getting sick. Teach your kids how to properly wash their hands and why it’s important. Memorizing and singing a simple song while they wash their hands helps them learn the correct amount of time they should spend washing. Be sure they’re getting both the fronts and backs and in-between their fingers.
Get to Bed On Time
We all need the right amount of sleep to keep our bodies and minds functioning properly. A good night’s sleep will help your child have the energy and strength they need to stay active and healthy. If you don’t have a good bedtime schedule already in place, now is the time to start. It might be difficult at first if they aren’t used to a normal bedtime, but you can help them get used to going to bed at a specific time by focusing on quiet games or reading an hour before bedtime.
Good Nutrition Goes a Long Way
Good nutrition starts with a healthy breakfast in the morning. Studies show that kids who eat breakfast compared to those who don’t are more alert in class and have a better chance of fighting off infection. It’s just as important to make sure kids are eating good healthy snacks after school. Too many sugary treats can have a negative impact on their immune systems and can even lead to obesity. Childhood obesity puts kids at a greater risk for both short-term and long-term health issues.
Between the flu, allergies and viruses, kids are lucky these days to avoid any kind of sickness at all as they start back to school. It’s tough to know exactly how to arm your children with the right defenses to keep them away from all germs and allergens, but the hints above are a good starting point. And, as always, the providers and staff at AllKids Urgent Care are ready when your child needs us.