Posted on August 06, 2018
Just like that its August Again! The schools supplies are back out, and that fall chill in the air is almost (wishful thinking) there. Backpacks, new pencils and crayons are the first things on the brain, but your child’s health should be too! Preventing those classroom coughs and sneezes will save you a trip to the doctors, as well as make the school year as easy as A, B, C.
The best part about having a few weeks left of the summer is that there is plenty of time to get yourself and your child ready to go back to school. It is often hard to adjust back to the school schedule, since summer months often lead to sleeping in and staying up later. Get back into that routine now by setting slightly earlier bed times and wake up times every day in till the first day of school. The gradual progression of going to bed and waking up earlier will prevent your body clock from being out of wack the first week of school. Instead of being dreadfully tired, it will be easier to start the day and your child will have the energy to make it through a long day of learning. It is recommended that children from ages 6-13 get at least 9-11 hours of sleep a night. Less sleep is actually associated with decreased academic performance, so it is even more important to get those Z’s.
Children also consume almost half of their daily calories at school between lunch and snack times. It is essential that those calories come from healthy and nutritious food choices. The best way to ensure your child is eating healthy foods at school is to pack a lunch. Packing in an insulated bag increases the amount of healthy food choices by being able to keep fresh veggies and fruit cold for a refreshing and nutritious snack! School cafeterias are getting better about having healthy options as well, as many include fresh fruits and a vegetable with every meal. Beware of hidden sugars as well, most of us forget that the juices we love are packed with added sugars! Stick to water, flavored seltzer water or low sugar/ all natural juices at lunchtime. Always remind your child not to share bites of food or drinks with friends as it prevents the spread of germs and diseases, as well as to wash their hands before eating. If hand washing isn’t available to-go bottles of hand sanitizer are perfect and fit in their pockets!
Back to school is an exciting time! With new supplies, new classmates and plenty of new material to learn it’s important to stay healthy and present. Remind your kids to cover their coughs and sneezes, clean up after themselves, wash their hands and bring their teachers plenty of tissue boxes and disinfecting wipes to keep stocked in the classroom.
And as always, “Take chances, Make mistakes and Get messy!” ~ Ms. Frizzle
(Sources: CDC, Johns Hopkins, Healthy Children)