Back-To-School Health Tips
After a year of uncertainty with the COVID-19 pandemic, schools are expecting to return to in-classroom learning for the fall. As summer comes to an end, there is often a lot to do to prepare for the upcoming school year.
In addition to shopping for new school supplies and clothes, parents must also make sure their children are physically prepared to go back to school.
To help avoid the spreading of germs, here are some other tips to have a healthy start to the new school year:
Wash Your Hands
One of the easiest ways to help prevent the spreading of germs is by simply implementing proper hand-washing techniques! Remind your children to always wash their hands after using the restroom and before and after eating.
An easy way to teach children to wash their hands is to encourage them to sing a song like Happy Birthday or the ABCs from beginning to end to make sure they are washing thoroughly. You can also teach them to clean the front and back of their hands and in between their fingers.
If they don’t have access to soap and water, pack hand sanitizer in their backpack, so they have it available at all times.
Establish a Routine
During the summer, schedules become more flexible, and routines typically are broken. However, once the school year begins, it is time to get back into a routine that works for you and your family.
Establish a routine at least one week before school begins to allow your children time to adjust to their new schedule. This includes creating morning and bedtime routines that reduce screen time and increase reading and quiet games.
According to the National Sleep Foundation, promoting healthy sleep habits can improve your child’s moods, stress levels, academic performance, and social skills.
Provide Healthy Meals and Snacks
What we put into our bodies ultimately affects our overall health and wellbeing. Especially for children, what they eat and drink contributes to their growth, cognitive development, and daily energy.
Make certain that your children receive the proper amount of daily nutrients to keep them healthy and strong. This may mean eliminating sugary sports drinks and packing a more protein-filled lunch. If your child eats lunch in the cafeteria, you can keep a copy of the menu at home and discuss with your child the importance of making healthy choices.
Not only is it important to eat healthy at school, but it is also crucial to carry these healthy habits into your home. Provide healthy snack options at home like yogurt, fruit, or cheese. Also, make sure your child is eating breakfast each morning, as it is known as the most important meal of the day!
The summer months usually bring the most activity — the weather is nice, so being outdoors is the place to be. When children are back in school, they spend more time sitting and less time being active.
Enroll your child in after-school sports programs or activities to encourage them to keep moving. Participating in a hobby they love will help them focus more in school and improve their overall behavior.
Choose the Right Backpack
Textbooks are heavy for your child to be lugging back and forth between school and home. Between carrying books, school supplies, and any other necessities, your child’s backpack can start to weigh a lot.
Prevent back pain in your child by purchasing a supportive backpack that is also comfortable. Also, teach your child how to wear the backpack properly:
- Wear straps over both shoulders.
- Adjust the straps, so the backpack sits higher on the back.
- Place the heaviest items closest to your child’s back.
- Use a waist or chest strap if they are included.
Schedule a Back-To-School Physical
Annual check-ups are pertinent to maintaining good health. Schedule your child’s back-to-school physical to ensure they are healthy and virus-free before going back in the classroom.