7 Tips to Keep Your Kids Healthy During the School Year
The moment your kids go to school becomes one of the most exciting and happiest moments in life. However, every school year becomes a time of increased exposure to viruses and germs. Kids now spend a lot of time in bigger groups, on playgrounds, or in after-school activities. It’s normal for them to get sick as their immune system is now exposed to more dangers. However, there are ways to minimize the risks and keep your kids healthy during the school year – here are the seven most important ones.
1. Remind them to wash their hands frequently
Kids are often excited to return from school and get their toys, gadgets, or books. However, if they don’t wash their hands immediately after they get home, they can spread germs all over the house. Remind your kids always to wash hands when entering their home and do that frequently in school and between classes. Teach them proper washing techniques, and ensure they’ve always got a hand sanitizer in their backpack if they can’t wash their hands with water.
2. Make sure they’ve got enough sleep
Good sleeping patterns are essential for children’s development and keeping them healthy during the school year. During summertime, kids often stay up later than usual, as they haven’t got school in the morning, so their sleeping schedule gets a bit disrupted. That’s why the beginning of school is the best way to get back on track and start going to bed early, to make sure they’ve got enough sleep until the morning. Prepare them for sleep by introducing a nighttime routine – dinner, washing up, and maybe they can do some reading instead of screen time. Sleep is essential for good health for kids and adults so that parents can jump on this sleepy train too!
3. Exercise is essential for keeping your kids healthy during the school year
Physical activity is one of the vital factors for good health for people of all ages. However, kids are naturally active all day, so parents sometimes forget their physical activity levels. Nowadays, kids spend less and less time outside playing with all the gadgets around them, so it’s essential to ensure they have at least one hour of exercise a day. Physical activity is vital for their overall health, sleep, and physical and mental performance. A strong body also fights infections better and is immune to common viruses and germs around it.
4. Balanced diet
Kids love snacks, but if you want them to be healthy, you need to figure out healthy replacements and an overall balanced diet. Healthy eating habits generally maintain the robust immune system, helping it cope with all the health risks around it. Make sure they’ve got all three meals, never miss their breakfast, and have a healthy alternative for their snacks. Also, don’t forget to limit the intake of unhealthy drinks, and make sure they take water, milk, and other healthy drinks instead.
Remember: Kids who attend school must know that breakfast is their most important meal. It helps them wake up, start their metabolism and establish normal brain function. Include protein, whole grains, and some dairy into their breakfast and ensure your little ones start the day right.
5. Up-to-date vaccines
Immunization is another crucial step in the successful prevention of many different diseases. Children should get a certain number of vaccines during their childhood to avoid common illnesses that happen at a young age. Make sure their immunization is up-to-date, and contact your pediatrician to learn more about seasonal flu vaccines that are useful when kids start going to school.
6. Reduce their screen time
The way kids grow up these days is very different from when their parents were kids. Nowadays, they have almost unlimited access to gadgets and the internet. Even though this can make their lives easier in so many ways and help them study, screen time is also a danger to their melatonin levels, body posture, and overall health. Make sure your kids enjoy limited screen time and spend a portion of their day outside playing instead of playing games or watching videos on their gadgets.
7. React quickly in case you notice something is off
Starting a new school year is exciting but can also be incredibly stressful for kids. That’s why parents need to watch out for any signs of stress or anxiety and react as quickly as possible. Sometimes, a small problem, such as a school project or stress, can develop into a much bigger issue and be a significant risk to your kids’ health. That’s why parents need to pay attention not only to their kids’ physical health but their mental health, too.
Helping a child adjust to a new school is no easy feat. Communicate regularly with your little ones and if you notice that they are worried – be sure to react immediately. Some kids often have trouble adjusting to the new schoolor class. That’s why don’t forget to help them meet new classmates and teachers and feel good at their new school. Teach them how to cope with new things, and always remind them that you’ll be supportive no matter what.
Bonus tip: Check if their bag is too heavy
Finally, a new school year often includes a lot of new books they need to carry back and forth. Sometimes, certain kids bring unnecessary books every day, making their bags too heavy. This can lead to severe back or neck problems and cause long-term back deformities. Their backpack should provide the proper support for all the books and supplies they’re carrying, so ensure you get a high-quality bag with solid straps and enough padding.
When a kid goes to school, it’s normal for parents to feel worried about their performance at school, their emotions, as well physical and mental health. However, we hope these tips can keep your kids healthy during the school year and ensure a successful school year.
Bio: Samantha Peters is a stay-at-home mom at the moment, but for years she worked as a medical worker. She enjoys sharing tips on parenthood and home organization, helping parents worldwide.