After a long and an enjoyable summer break, it's time for the kids to head back to school. Going back to school is an exciting time for all children as they look forward to seeing their friends and meeting new people. It is important to teach children basic back to school rules and tips to set them for a safe and healthy new year. Here are some back-to-school health tips to consider:
- Get Vaccinated. It is very important that everyone in the household gets vaccinated as early as possible in the school year. Many schools require certain vaccinations in the beginning of every school year. Talk to your health care provider today to find out which vaccines are recommended and consider getting the flu vaccine, too.
- Practice good hygiene habits. To help your children avoid getting sick, it's important to tell them what they can do to protect themselves from germs. Teach them to wash their hands after using the restroom, before eating, or anytime they are dirty. It is recommended to use soap and water when washing your hands and to wash for about 20 seconds. To make sure hands are scrubbed long enough – hum “Happy Birthday” twice! Remember it’s important to wash both sides of your hands, your wrists, and between your fingers. It may also be a good idea to provide your children with hand sanitizer to use anytime or if a sink is not available.
- Make healthy foods choices. Remember to stock up on healthy foods like fruits, vegetables, and lean protein like turkey. Other good snacks include low-fat yogurt, peanut butter and celery, or whole-grain crackers and cheese. Limit low-nutrient snacks such as chips and candy and sugary drinks such as soda or fruit-flavored drinks.
- Manage stress. Help manage stress by talking to your children about anything that's bothering them. It's also important for kids to get a healthy amount of sleep each night to stay focused throughout the day and avoid feeling stressed. All children are recommended to get at least 8 hours of sleep each night to function better and be able to grow.
- Traveling to school. Whether your children are walking or taking transportation to school, it’s important to give them some safety tips to keep them safe at all times. Remind them to always be sure to stay in cross-walks when they have to cross the street. If your children are taking the bus to school, remind them to be on their best behavior at the bus stop and to obey safety rules when boarding and exiting the bus.
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