School is a place where kids learn and grow, develop social skills, and become independent individuals. It can also be a place where they pick up germs and illnesses and bring them home. At school, children spend a lot of time in classrooms where they can easily transfer infections to one another. But by helping kids establish some important habits, parents can show them how to make health a priority during the school year.
Get Current on All Vaccines – Vaccines are the best way to prevent the spread of 16 different diseases, and during the pandemic there was a steep drop in the number of children who received all the vaccines they need on time. Since COVID-19 vaccines are not yet approved for use in children under 12, it is critical to do everything possible to prevent other diseases in this age group. If you are unsure of how to get your child vaccinated, contact your pediatrician for more information. (1)
Teach Proper Hand Washing – Hand washing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds is one of the most important ways to prevent the spread of illness in the classroom and elsewhere. When kids come in contact with germs, they can easily spread those germs—especially if they rub their eyes or scratch their nose. Hand washing—along with vaccination, wearing masks, and social distancing—is the best way to stop the spread of COVID-19.(2)
Help the Immune System Function Well – There is no proven way to boost the immune system, but it is important to keep kids’ bodies healthy so their immune systems can work properly. Getting enough sleep, maintaining a healthy diet, managing stress, exercising, making time to laugh, and emphasizing hand washing can help reduce your child’s risk of getting colds, flu, and other infections.
The most effective way to prevent disease is through vaccination. There is growing interest among parents in giving kids supplements like elderberry, or extra doses of vitamins such as vitamin C, but you should always consult with your child’s doctor before giving them supplements of any kind. The American Academy of Pediatrics does not recommend vitamin supplements for healthy children who eat a varied diet. It’s best that they get their vitamins from foods. (3)
Establish Good Sleep Hygiene – Making sure your children get enough sleep is a crucial part of keeping them healthy.Not only is sleep an important part of a child’s physical and emotional health; it also can play a role role in how well they do in school. (4)
Provide a Brain-Boosting Breakfast – Breakfast really is the most important meal of the day when it comes to students. A balanced breakfast of protein and complex carbohydrates has been established as an important factor for brain function and maintenance of a steady energy level through the day.
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