Parents are celebrating the approaching end of summer while students are wondering how another school year crept up so stealthily. The back to school season is filled with excitement and anticipation. Between picking out a new backpack, finding the perfect lunch box, and brushing up on last year’s math, there’s little time left to think about health. But whether you’re a parent, a teacher, you’re getting ready for your first taste of elementary school, or you’re hitting your stride in college, health is an important subject. Here are some back to school health tips to help you prepare!
Start the day off right with a nutritious breakfast. Don’t skip breakfast, or settle for a fast and convenient package of doughnuts and a can of soda. Pack healthy lunches, and have healthy after school snacks handy for when children get home.
Also, keep in mind that extra curricular activities or evening school events can get in the way of dinner time. A lack of planning can force you to a fast food drive-thru. Think about packing dinner as well as lunch, or plan a week of meals with healthy at-home meals to balance a fast food meal or two. Planning ahead is especially important for families that often find themselves away from the house around dinner time.
Kindergarten children learn all about sharing, and they usually end up sharing germs, too. Students and teachers are more likely to get sick. Being that close to that many people increases the likelihood of spreading germs and illness.
Teach kids to cover their mouths while coughing and sneezing, and wash hands often.
Getting to school safely
Safety is also important to back to school health. Be sure to go over walking or biking safety, and consider accompanying younger children on the way to school. While riding the bus is safer than walking or biking, children should understand school bus safety as well.
Be confident in your child’s ability to get to school and back home safely.
There are many potential stress triggers that come with starting a new school year. Maybe your child is anxious about his or her new teacher, a new school, or making new friends. The pressure to perform well at school or to perform well on tests is a common source of stress among students.
Be sure to look for and address stress as it comes up during the school year. Starting off right with positive family rituals can help kids get settled in more comfortably at the beginning of the school year.
People often underestimate the importance of getting adequate sleep each night. In a day that often has too few hours many opt to sacrifice sleep for the sake of productivity. Students race the clock to finish school projects at the last minute, and teachers stay up late to get grades entered on time. Sleep is crucial to good health, however, and it’s important to prioritize sleep.
Set a regular bedtime to ensure that you get enough sleep each night.
Physical activity and exercise are crucial to development and maintaining good health. While young school children enjoy outdoor recess and PE class, many students still don’t get all of the physical activity they need each day. The amount of time dedicated to recess and PE is getting cut shorter in many schools. But even if your child in elementary school only gets 30 minutes of play time – which is less that the daily recommended amount – that’s more than many high school or college students might get.
Find ways to stay active and make sure that your family is getting the appropriate amount of physical activity.
State laws require most school children to receive vaccinations. Vaccinations help improve public health by keeping communities safe from disease.
Make sure that your immunization records are up to date, and you vaccinate accordingly.
Does your child still need his or her vaccinations for school? Is it time for an annual check-up? Request an appointment at a MANA clinic today!