As a parent, you want your child to be healthy and happy all year long. It can be difficult to keep track of your children’s health while they’re in school though. Here are some tips on how to make sure your child stays healthy during the school year:
- Get them vaccinated. Vaccines are a vital tool in keeping children healthy. They help protect against serious and life-threatening diseases, such as polio, measles, diphtheria and whooping cough. Vaccination is one of the most cost-effective ways of preventing disease – it is estimated that for every dollar spent on childhood immunization, $16 is saved in direct and indirect costs. Herd immunity also plays an important role in protecting children from disease. This occurs when a high proportion of people in a community are vaccinated against a particular disease, making it less likely for the disease to spread. This provides protection for those who are unable to be vaccinated, such as babies or people with certain medical conditions. It’s important to remember that vaccines are safe and effective. The risks associated with vaccination are extremely low compared to the risks posed by the diseases they prevent. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that all children 6 months of age and older get a flu vaccine every year.
- Keep them hydrated. Water is essential for life. Every system in the body depends on water to function properly. Water carries nutrients and oxygen to cells, flushes toxins out of vital organs, lubricates joints, and regulates body temperature, along with even more health benefits! The human body is about 60% water, so it's no surprise that staying hydrated is critical to our health. Unfortunately, many people don't drink enough fluids every day. In fact, dehydration is a major problem in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 1 in 10 Americans struggles with chronic dehydration. Dehydration can cause fatigue, headaches, dizziness, and other symptoms. It can also lead to more serious problems like heat stroke or kidney stones. There are many easy ways to stay hydrated throughout the day. Carry a reusable water bottle with you wherever you go and make sure to drink regularly, even if you're not thirsty. Eat foods with high water content like fruits and vegetables, and limit your intake of caffeine and alcohol which can dehydrate the body. And when you're being physically active, which kids tend to be, be sure to drink even more fluids than usual. By following these simple tips, you can keep you and your child healthy and hydrated all day long!
- Pack healthy snacks and lunches. When it comes to packing snacks for school, there are a few things you should keep in mind. First, the snack should be easy to eat and not require utensils. Second, it should be compact so it fits easily into a lunchbox or backpack. Third, it should have some staying power so your child isn't starving by lunchtime. Whole grain crackers, fresh fruit, dried fruit, and nuts are all great school snack options!
- Help them avoid germs by teaching them proper handwashing techniques Handwashing is one of the best ways to prevent the spread of germs. Show your child how to wet their hands with clean running water, apply soap, rub their hands together for at least 20 seconds, and rinse their hands under clean running water. Remember to remind your children to use a clean towel to dry their hands!
- Promote good sleep habits by setting a bedtime routine and making sure there are no electronics in the bedroom at night. According to the National Sleep Foundation, teenagers need between 8 and 10 hours of sleep each night. However, surveys show that most teens get only about 6.5 to 7.5 hours of sleep on weeknights. This can lead to a number of problems, including: difficulty concentrating and paying attention in school, increased risk-taking behavior, poor decision-making skills, emotional instability, impaired memory function and more. All of these problems can be avoided by maintaining a good sleep schedule . When you get enough sleep, your body has time to rest and repair itself from the day’s activities . Getting enough sleep will also help you regulate your emotions, so your child is less likely to lash out or make impulsive choices .
These are only five ways to keep your child healthy during the school year, but they are all extremely impactful. It’s important to maintain an open dialogue with your children about how they’re feeling so that you know something needs to change or what’s working.