Kick off the school year right: the healthy way
As the new school year rapidly approaches for many area children, Velocity Care wants to help you start off on the right foot with tips on beginning the school year the smart way. Here are a few great ways to keep your children healthy throughout the year:
1. Get back on schedule.
A few weeks before school starts, re-establish a routine. This includes a dedicated bedtime for your children. You should also begin to wake them up earlier than they would normally get up during summer vacation. One key piece of information to remember is that the amount of sleep your children need can vary from nine to 12 hours, depending on the age of the child. Make sure you schedule accordingly.
Try to schedule mealtimes close to when your children will be eating during the school day so that hunger pains won’t distract them during class time.
2. Be hands-free to be germ-free.
Teach your children to, when a tissue is not available, cough and sneeze into their elbows in order to avoid getting germs on their hands, which would make them easily spreadable. Teach them to keep their hands away from their eyes, noses and mouths to help prevent germs from entering their bodies.
3. Show your children how to properly wash their hands.
The Center for Disease Control describes the best way to wash one’s hands in order to prevent the spread of illness. The CDC recommends that you wet your hands with warm or cold water, then lather them by rubbing them together with soap. Be sure to get the backs of your hands as well as between your fingers and under your nails, which is where germs like to hide. Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds (hum “Happy Birthday” twice) and then, finally, rinse your hands under running water.
Hand sanitizer is an option to help get rid of germs on the go. When shopping for school supplies, try to find a small bottle of alcohol-based sanitizer for kids to carry in their backpacks or lunch boxes.
4. Schedule annual back-to-school physicals.
Back-to-school physicals are important for your children for many reasons. They help to build a medical history that will be invaluable in the future. A long history gives the doctor a clear picture of your children’s developmental progress over time. This information will help doctors detect any budding problems as well as alert doctors to their past illnesses and injuries, vaccination histories and any allergies.
Annual physicals will give you a way to express any emotional, developmental or social concerns that you may have about your children. It’s also a chance for your children to be able to ask any important questions about issues that are common to adolescence like drinking, drugs or sexual activity.
5. Make sure your children get enough exercise.
Children ages 5 to 17 need at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity every day. Children can meet this requirement through activities like playtime, games, sports or planned family exercise.
It’s important for children to meet the requirement for physical activity because it helps them to develop healthy muscles, bones and cardiovascular systems. Physical activity also helps children develop coordination and movement control and maintain a healthy body weight.
These tips will help you and your children start the upcoming school year off right and create healthy habits that will carry through the entire year. Staying healthy will help your children succeed in school by reducing sick days and allowing them to devote all of their energy and focus to learning, not a stomach bug.
Velocity Care is committed to helping keep your family healthy with our fast and convenient alternative to long ER wait times for non-life threatening injuries, as well as same-day appointments for when your primary care physician is unavailable. Visit one of our clinics today to see to your health needs.
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