8 Tips to Keep Your Kids Healthy During the School Year

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Schools are where kids develop their brains, build social skills, and grow as individuals. But unfortunately, a school can also be a place where kids pick up germs and illnesses and carry them home. Although many people assume that schools are healthy places, even the best schools are full of things that can make your kids sick, from the flu to head lice.

As a parent, you’re not able to send your children to school in a glass bubble and insulate them from everything, but there are things that can be done in order for them to remain healthy during the school year.

Children have an average of five to seven infections per year. When you’re a parent, that means missed school days, missed workdays, doctors’ appointments, and lots of tissues and cold medicine.

The below-mentioned tips will enable you to protect yourself from germs and keep your kid’s immune system strong, so they can have fewer sick days.

Make frequent hand-washing a habit

Children can stop the spread of germs from hands to mouths and eyes, as well as from one child to another, by washing their hands regularly. Even kindergarteners should know how to properly wash their hands with soap and water – not just by rinsing their hands with water – before and after eating, after going to the bathroom, and after blowing their nose. It helps reduce the number of colds in a school setting.

The health and safety of children at school are in school nurses’ hands, so choosing the right ones for the job is imperative. Therefore, most schools follow a strict criteria for hiring one like they need to possess a proper nursing degree such as one specializing in childcare. Due to this reason, most nursing professionals opt for MSN FNP degree that helps them enhance their skills, especially those who want to pursue their career as a school nurse.

Educate kids on how to sneeze

One thing that the Coronavirus pandemic has taught is the importance of basic healthcare. Therefore, teaching your children basic healthcare is essential. Therefore, teach your child how to cough (covering their mouth), sneeze (into the crook of their arm, so that no germs are sprayed into the air), and blow their nose (using a tissue that you should discard after each use–never a handkerchief).

Eat healthily

Healthy eating begins with a nutritious breakfast – the most important meal of the day. A nutritious breakfast that includes protein, dairy, and/or whole grains will improve your child’s focus and concentration during the day. 

You should ensure that your child eats a healthy lunch consisting of lean meat, whole grains, fresh fruits, and vegetables. Providing a healthy snack after school will prevent your child from reaching for junk food. Finally, make a family dinner to cap the day off. Health and well-being are improved when meals are shared with the family.

Stay on top of vaccinations

Vaccines can prevent 16 different diseases, and during the pandemic, a steep decline in the number of children receiving all their vaccines on time was evident.

Children under 12 are not yet allowed to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, so it is essential to protect against other diseases for this age group. Ensure your child gets all the immunizations they need, including the seasonal flu vaccine, by going to your pediatrician. Ideally, you should have it done by October.

Keep children when they are ill

Despite a cold or fever, many parents send their children to school thinking they can tough it out. Besides delaying the child’s recovery, it exposes other children, parents, and teachers to unnecessary risk of infection. Spending a day or two at home recovering your energy is well worth the extra homework you might have to do to catch up.

Keep an eye out for stress-related symptoms

It is surprising how much stress kids experience even in the early grades. You should spend some time with your kids to learn what’s bothering them – and try to reduce their anxiety about grades, competitions, etc. Stress can be just as detrimental to kids as adults, as it affects their immune systems and general health.

Ensure proper hydration

It is important to stay hydrated for a number of reasons. In addition to preventing fatigue and improving mood, it helps with digestion, weight management and enhancing brain function. Drink plenty of water and milk. As much as possible, avoid giving your child sugar-sweetened beverages!

Drinks like sodas, sports drinks, energy drinks, juices and coffees can be loaded with sugar, caffeine and other unhealthy ingredients and contribute to weight gain and other health problems. If your child consumes too much caffeine, it increases their heart rate, blood pressure, interrupts their sleep and causes them to become nervous and irritable. Even though it temporarily boosts energy levels, it’s followed by an energy crash and can reinforce bad habits.

Set good sleeping habits

A vital part of keeping your children healthy is ensuring that they get enough sleep. Research shows that kids who don’t get enough sleep suffer many effects. For example, sleep deprivation has been linked to poor concentration, obesity, depression, and suicidal ideation.

Besides being essential to a child’s physical and emotional health, sleep can also affect their academic performance. Unfortunately, according to recent research, children are sleeping less these days.

In a meta-analysis of 700,000 children from 20 different countries, researchers concluded that children’s sleep has decreased by 1 hour per night over the past century, and the change is greatest during school days.

A set bedtime can benefit even older children. Make their schedules predictable and offer reassurance if stress or uncertainty prevents them from sleeping.

Final Verdict

Children are prone to getting sick and then, just as quickly, recover. By following these simple guidelines, parents can at least reduce the odds of their children experiencing a serious illness due to the many things they are exposed to in school every day.

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