Most children in the US will be going back to school in late August or early September, although the same principles apply to keeping your children healthy if they go to school pretty much year-round.
According to physicians, one of the very best ways to keep your kids healthy in school is to be current on their vaccinations. All states, including the District of Columbia, require students to be vaccinated for tetanus, whooping cough, polio, and other common diseases. There are rare exceptions.
And while Covid vaccines for kids are controversial and are not required anywhere, the CDC now recommends children as early as 5 get their COVID shots.
Second, to vaccines say, physicians are frequent handwashing.
Children pick up a lot of diseases, both serious and not so serious, by touching various surfaces and then touching their eyes and face. It may be harder for older kids to break the habit of touching their face, but even studies of medical students who are certainly learning about the spread of diseases through both face and eye touching, tend to do it subconsciously up to 23 times per hour.
However, even if you reduce the amount of face touching in half, that is still plenty of avenues for germs to be passed on.
The alternative is to learn to wash your hands frequently and to scrub your hands well for at least 20 seconds.
The CDC recommends you wash your hands:
- Before touching your eyes, your nose, or your mouth
- After touching your mask
- After leaving a public place
- After touching objects or surfaces that may be frequently touched by other people, for example, door handles, tables, gas pumps, shopping carts, or elevator buttons
The more you wash your hands the better, and if you can’t wash your hands, at least use a 60 percent alcohol wipe.
Next is to enforce proper sleep habits in your children.
While many people believe that eating properly is the number one thing to teach their children, there are severe limits to how well vitamins and minerals and other proper food benefits go toward health when children are growing up.
However, sleep is essential to good health, and the plain fact is that many children are sleep deprived. Children 6 to 12 need between 9 and 12 hours of sleep per night, while teens 13 to 18 generally need 10 hours of sleep per night to be healthy and alert in school.
An important part of school-age children getting enough sleep is to have their children turn off televisions, computers, and radios at least an hour before they go to sleep.
Also, teach your children to learn good sleeping habits such as avoiding meals and caffeinated drinks at least two hours before they are ready to sleep.
There are few substitutes for good sleep to keep children’s health at peak form.
Finally, teach your children to eat a healthy, balanced breakfast in the morning before school.
If students complain they don’t have enough time, that only means they are going to bed too late. And a diet that is balanced between carbohydrates, protein, and fat will get them off to a good start in school and help to sustain their health.
As far as diet is concerned, staying away from refined sugars and caffeine are the essential rules that children need to learn as they are growing up.