As a parent, you want to do everything possible to ensure your children are well-prepared to enter the hallowed walls of their elementary days this year. Returning to school might be exciting, but it can also worry children (and their parents!). Especially now that we are still in the middle of a pandem
Children are at high risk for contracting and spreading infections as they are often in close contact. So it’s important to take extra care to ensure their health and safety this school year. Here are a few tips on how you can help keep your children healthy as they head back to school:
Make sure they are up-to-date on their vaccines
Not getting an up-to-date vaccine puts your child at a higher risk for contracting and spreading disease. Make sure your child is up to date on all their routine vaccines, such as the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine and the diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis (DTaP) vaccine. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also recommends that all students aged 6 months and older get a flu vaccine every year.
Right now, it is recommended to get COVID-19 vaccines for everyone aged 12 and older. This vaccine is still new, so there is not yet specific guidance for younger children. However, the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are expected to be available for kids aged 2–11 by the fall. So check with your child’s doctor to see if and when they should get vaccinated.
Visit their pediatrician regularly
It can be hard to make time for doctor’s appointments, especially when your child is busy at school. But not going to regular check-ups could mean missing important health problems. So be sure to make an appointment with your best pediatric healthcare clinic and get your child on a regular schedule of check-ups. This will help ensure they stay healthy and catch any potential problems early.
Preventive medical services are one of the services they provide, which aids in the detection and treatment of illnesses and injuries before they become more serious. Preventive care also includes immunizations, protecting you from various diseases and sicknesses. A visit to your pediatrician is a good time to ask any questions or voice any concerns you may have about your child’s health. This also minimizes infectious disease exposure risks to our newborns and children. Make sure to bring a list of any medications your child is taking and any allergies they have.
Prepare a nutritious and balanced diet
One of the reasons why we get sick is because of the food we eat. A nutritious and balanced diet will help boost your child’s immune system so they are better able to fight off infections. Be sure to include plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins in your diet. And limit sugary drinks and snacks, as these can weaken their immune system.
You can also pack healthy and nutritious snacks for your child to eat between meals. This will help them avoid overeating and maintain their energy levels throughout the day. Occasional junk foods are fine but limit them as much as possible. Some good nutritious snacks include:
- Fresh fruits and vegetables
- Whole grain crackers or bread
- Low-fat yogurt or cheese
- Nuts and seeds
Teach them healthy hygiene habits
Some common diseases and infections are spread through contact with contaminated surfaces or by close contact with someone sick. So, teaching your child good hygiene habits, such as washing their hands often, brushing their teeth, and coughing or sneezing into their elbow, is essential. Hand sanitizer can also be used when soap and water are not available.
You should also teach them to avoid touching their face, especially their eyes, nose, and mouth. And encourage them to clean and disinfect surfaces that are frequently touched, such as doorknobs, keyboards, and countertops. They should avoid sharing food, water bottles, or utensils with other children at school.
Limit screen time
Too much time spent in front of screens can lead to poor sleep habits and increased stress levels. This can make your child more susceptible to getting sick. So be sure to limit their screen time to two hours per day. And make sure they are getting enough sleep, as this is crucial for a strong immune system.
You can also encourage them to spend more time outdoors, which can help reduce stress levels and improve their overall health. Fresh air and sunlight also boost your child’s immune system. Some activities that they can do outdoors include:
- Playing sports
- Riding their bike
Keep your children healthy this school year
Parents who send their children back to school worry about their kids getting sick. Yes, schools are a great place for socializing and learning, but they are also a breeding ground for different sicknesses and diseases. That’s why it’s important to take steps to reduce your child’s chances of getting sick. These simple steps can help reduce your child’s risk of getting ill and ensure a healthy and happy school year.