10 tips to keep kids healthy this school year

 

This is especially important when they meet other
children at school, on the playground or while playing sports. Parents can help
reduce sick days and boost their children’s immune systems  by following our 10 tips for staying healthy
at school (and everywhere in between).

1. Get adequate sleep.

A regular bedtime 
is important for your baby’s health. Children in kindergarten through
sixth grade  should sleep between 9 and
11. Sleep quality is directly related to behavior, eating habits, and  ability to fight off infection. Lack of sleep
increases cravings for junk food and often leads to mood swings,  tantrums and an increased risk of infection.

2. Exercise daily.

Help your child move at least 60 minutes  a day. It will help them: 

 sleep
better

 fight
infection

 general
health

 improve
their behavior

 better
manage stress 

 improve
their academic performance

3. Reduce screen time.

Screen time outside of homework should be limited
to two hours  or less per day and should
include phones, TVs, tablets, video games, and computers. The light emitted by
screens can lower melatonin levels, which makes it harder to fall asleep and
can disrupt the body’s circadian rhythm.

4. Practice healthy eating habits.

Support your child’s health with a nutritious
breakfast, lunch and dinner and stay hydrated throughout the day.  A healthy breakfast that includes protein,
dairy, and whole grains  directly
correlates to positive behavior throughout the day and improves a child’s
ability to focus.  A nutritious breakfast
includes lean meats, whole grains, fruits and vegetables Family dinners. Meals
eaten as a  family promote better health
and well-being. May prevent fatigue, improve mood, aid digestion, maintain
weight  and improve brain function.

 Promote
healthy beverages such as water and milk. Limit or eliminate sugary and
caffeinated beverages.Caffeine can increase a child’s heart rate and blood
pressure, disrupt sleep, and cause nervousness and irritability

5. Stay up-to-date on immunizations.

Influenza vaccination and the COVID-19 vaccine
are particularly important. COVID-19 vaccines are now available for everyone
over the age of 6 months, including children under the age of 5. With new
variants and subvariants constantly emerging, protection against serious
infections and diseases is particularly important.

6. Wash hands frequently to reduce spread of
germs.

Teach your child to sing a happy birthday song
twice (about 20 seconds) while bathing. Make sure your child has hand sanitizer
available if hand washing is not possible. Teach them to keep their hands away
from their faces and to cough or sneeze into their arm or shoulder.

7. Consider masking in school.

 There are
good reasons to wear a mask, including to prevent seasonal respiratory
infections. For more guidance, see the University of Nebraska Medical Center
College of Public Health COVID-19 Back to School Guide.

8.  Help
your child deal with stress and anxiety

School, sports and social media can all trigger
stress and anxiety in your child. Monitor your social media use and keep lines
of communication  open so you can
identify bullying or other sources of stress or anxiety at school.

9. Promote proper backpack safety.

Heavy backpacks can cause neck, shoulder and back
pain. Get a good backpack with two straps and padded padding. A full backpack
should not weigh more than 10% of the child’s weight.

10. 
Schedule a school or sports physical.

Nebraska law requires  children to be physically active before
kindergarten and seventh grade, but we recommend scheduling it every year.
School and sports physics is a way to monitor your child’s development, growth
and health each year. As children grow older, the annual medical check-ups also
address issues such as mental health, allergies, sexual health and asthma. Make
sure vision and hearing tests are also part of your child’s yearly visits.
Visual and hearing impairments can lead to 
behavioral problems and affect learning and development.

Should parents be worried about monkeypox?

Parents are understandably concerned about the
rise in monkeypox  cases in the United
States.

 There have
been a few isolated cases in children, but the vast majority have occurred in
families with close contact with infected people.

 Monkeypox
is usually transmitted through close personal contact or direct skin contact.
So for now, unless your child lives with an infected person, you don’t have to
worry about getting monkeypox from a surface or anything like that.

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