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Healthy Back to School Habits

Eat a well balance meal, drink plenty of water and exercise daily.

Daily meals should consist of fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins. Drink mainly milk and water and stay away from sugar-sweetened and caffeinated beverages. Too much caffeine can increase heart rate, blood pressure, interrupt sleep, and cause nervousness or irritability. Make sure to start the day with a protein rich breakfast as studies show children who eat a nutritious breakfast function better.

Smart Hygiene Habits

Practice simple ways to stop the spread of unwanted germs by sneezing in your sleeve and washing your hands often with soap and water. Also avoid touching your face to help prevent infections, especially during Covid-19 and flu season.

Get plenty of sleep.

Getting adequate amounts of sleep is critical for your child to be successful in school and improves immune functions. Difficulty concentrating and learning can result when children do not get enough sleep. School age students (6-12 years) should sleep 9-12 hours per night with teenagers getting 8-10 hours of sleep. Setting a bedtime and sticking to it will help your child get into a routine and aid them in falling asleep faster.

Avoid heavy school bags.

Backpacks should never weigh more than 10% to 20% of your child’s body weight. Always use both shoulder straps and adjust straps so that the pack sits at the bottom of your child’s waist. If your student must tote a heavy load, consider a rolling bookbag if allowed.

Stay home when sick.

Monitoring your child every morning before going to school and keeping them at home when they are not doing or feeling well will aid in decreasing the spread of germs and viruses. If your child has any of the following signs, keep them at home and call their health care provider.

  • Temp of 100.4 or higher

  • Chills or Shivers

  • Cough

  • Loss of taste or smell

  • Headache

  • Sore Throat

  • Vomiting/Diarrhea

  • Unexplained rash

  • Joint or muscle aches

If your child is too ill to go to school don’t force them to go, err on the side of caution.

Reduce screen time.

Here are a few ways to help your child spend less time in front of the TV, computer and video games and more time having fun as a family. Start by turning off the TV during mealtime and talk with your child about their school day. Limit screen time to two hours or less and encourage outdoor play after school and join in on the fun.

Stay up to date on vaccinations

Vaccines are the best way to protect your child and others from illness. Check to make sure your child is up to date on all immunizations. Vaccines not only prevent the spread of illness but can also help to prevent serious infection, hospitalization and even death.

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