The kids are back in school, eager to start a new school year. School is many things: a place for young minds to expand, a place to try new thing, a place to make friends, some of which will last a lifetime.
But, school is also a breeding ground for germs and illness! Here are some tips on how to try to keep your kids healthy this and every school year!
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) encourages all children to:
- Wash their hands.
- Eat well and stay active.
- Limit sugary drinks.
- Avoid e-cigarettes.
- Stay hydrated and cool.
- Get vaccinated.
Whether you kid just started High School or Kindergarten, here are some more healthy tips.
Teach you kids to keep their hands out of the eyes, mouth and nose – If your child touches something that someone with a cold or other infection has touched that infection can easily enter their bodies if they touch their eyes, nose, or mouth.
Don’t share water bottles, food or other personal items – It’s great to teach your kids to share – just NOT food, water bottles or other “personal” items. Here’s a simple rule to share with your child: Anything that you put in your mouth, keep it to yourself!
Boost your kid’s immune system – Keeping your child’s immune system strong is an important way to stay healthy and ward off illness during the school year. Getting enough sleep, maintaining a healthy diet, managing stress, exercising, and emphasizing hand washing can all boost the immune system and help to reduce your child’s risk of getting colds, flu, and other infections.
A good night’s sleep – Making sure your child gets enough sleep is a crucial part of keeping him or her healthy. Sleep is important not only for a child’s physical and emotional health but it can play an important role in how well he or she does in school, too.
Laugh out loud – Laughter may actually be the best medicine. Laughter may actually boost immune system function and reduce the levels of stress hormones and increase feel-good hormones. Helping kids laugh – and laugh it off – can be a big help to keeping them strong and healthy.
Pack a healthy lunch – An easy way to pack a balanced lunch is to think about the different food groups. What will be the whole grain, the dairy, fruit, vegetables, and protein source? One example of a good combination is lean turkey and cheese on a whole grain pita, with apple slices and carrots.
Missing a day or two during the entire school year for a cold or an occasional stomach ache, may be impossible to avoid entirely. But, by following these tips, and establishing some good healthy habits for your school-aged children, you can keep those “sick days” to a minimum.