Our children are constantly exposed to health, even if we have the best of intentions. It is particularly true when kids are interacting with each other at school, in the playground or during sports. Follow our 10 tips to keep your child healthy in school and everywhere else.
1. Sleep enough
Your child’s health will benefit from a consistent bedtime routine. Sleeping between 9 and 11 hours is recommended for children in Kindergarten through Grade 6. Sleep quality has a direct correlation with eating habits, behavior and the ability of a person to fight infections. Lack of sleep can lead to mood swings and temper tantrums as well as an increase in the risk of infection.
2. Exercise daily
Encourage your child to exercise at least 60 minutes a day. It will benefit them in the following ways:
- Sleep better
- Fight against infection
- Be healthier overall
- Enhance their behaviour
- Stress management: a better way to manage it
- Increase your school performance
3. Reduce screen time
Screen time that is not related to homework should be kept at two hours or less per day. This includes computers, phones, tablets, TVs, and video games. Screens emit light that can lower melatonin, which can make it harder to fall asleep. They can also disrupt the circadian rhythm of the body.
4. Healthy eating habits are important
Encourage your child to eat a healthy breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Also, make sure they are hydrated throughout the day.
- A healthy breakfast, which includes dairy products and whole grains and contains protein and dairy products is linked to positive behavior throughout the day. It also improves the ability of your child to concentrate and focus.
- Lean meats, whole grains and fruits and vegetables are all part of a nutritious lunch.
- Finish the day off with a dinner for your family. Spending time with your family at mealtimes promotes better health. It can improve your mood, prevent fatigue, and aid digestion.
- Encourage people to drink healthy drinks like milk and water. Limit or eliminate caffeinated and sugar-sweetened beverages. Caffeine increases your child’s blood pressure and heart rate, disrupts sleep and can cause nervousness and irritation.
5. Keep up with immunizations
It is important to get the COVID-19 and flu vaccine. The COVID-19 vaccination is now available to everyone older than 6 months, including children younger than 5 years. As new subvariants and variants continue to appear, it is important to protect against severe disease and infection.
6. Hands should be washed frequently to prevent the spread of germs
While washing hands, teach your child to sing “Happy Birthday” twice (about 20 second intervals). When hand washing is not possible, make sure that your child always has a hand sanitizer. Teach your child to keep their hands away from their faces and to cough, sneeze or snort into their arm or their shoulder.
7. Consider masking in school
Everyone over the age of 2, regardless of vaccination status, is encouraged to wear masks at school by the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Centers. Masks are useful for a number of reasons, such as preventing respiratory infections. The COVID-19 Playbook for Back to School from the University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Public Health provides additional guidance.
8. Help your child cope with anxiety and stress
Your child’s school, sports, and social media all can cause stress and anxiety. Keep communication open and monitor their social media usage to identify bullying, or other sources for stress or anxiety in school.
9. Safety is important when it comes to backpacks
Backpacks that are too heavy can lead to neck, shoulder and lower back pain. Make sure you get a backpack with two straps, cushioned padding and padded shoulder straps. The weight of a full backpack shouldn’t exceed 10% of the child’s body weight.
10. Schedule a sports or school physical
Nebraska law requires children to complete a physical examination before entering kindergarten and the seventh grade. We recommend that you schedule these appointments annually. Each year, school and sports physicals allow you to monitor the development, growth and overall health of your child. An annual physical is important for children as they age. It addresses mental health, allergies and sexual health. Make sure that vision and hearing tests are included in your child’s annual visit. Hearing and vision impairments may lead to behavioral problems and affect learning and development.
Should parents worry about monkeypox in children?
Parents are understandably concerned about the increase in monkeypox cases in the U.S.
The vast majority of cases have occurred in households where there are infected individuals.
Monkeypox can be spread by close skin-toskin or face-toskin contact. At this time there is no need to be concerned about monkeypox spreading from surfaces, or any other way, unless your child lives with someone who has the disease.