Back-To-School Health Tips
When it’s time to return to school after a long summer break, kids sometimes have trouble shifting their focus back to their classes, as well as sports, band practice, and other after-school activities. This may be especially true if they have become accustomed to staying up later than usual, and having more time to watch TV, play video games, enjoy some junk food, and run around outside to their hearts’ content.
Here are some tips to help you make the back-to-school adjustment as pain free as possible – for both you and your children – and set the course for a safe and healthy school year:
- Start a new sleeping pattern – To help your children transition back to waking up early for school, have them go to bed and wake up one hour earlier each night until a new routine is set. If they have trouble falling asleep, have them put away their electronic devices at least one hour before turning in. A warm bath can also help induce sleep.
- Schedule doctor appointments – Annual physicals should be completed before each school year begins in order to make sure that each child’s medical records and vaccines are up to date. Now is also the time to schedule dental checkups, vision and hearing tests, and any necessary sports physicals.
- Establish structured eating habits – Encourage your children to get back into the habit of having three meals a day: breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Whenever possible, have your family sit down to enjoy meals together. Also, find out about school lunch options and meal schedules so that your children will know what to expect.
- Stock up on healthy foods – Skip the pre-packaged items and instead pack your kids’ lunches with nutritious fruits, vegetables, whole-grain breads, and lean proteins, such as turkey. To reduce stress and streamline your lunch-making routine, cut up fruits and vegetables and prepare tuna salad or hard-boiled eggs on weekends, when you may have more time. Also, keep plenty of small containers on hand for dinner leftovers, which can make great lunches.
- Teach good hygiene practices – Germs are lurking everywhere, especially in classrooms full of kids. To help your children avoid getting sick (and prevent them from bringing germs home), teach them to always wash their hands after using a restroom and before eating. You might also have them carry small bottles of hand sanitizer that they can use if hand-washing is not possible.
Back-to-school season can be stressful for children and their parents alike. To help manage it, regularly make time to talk with your children about anything that might be bothering them, and take care not to overload anyone’s schedule, including your own. While homework and after-school activities are priorities, it’s also important to set aside some time to play and relax together as a family.
If you have questions or your children need back-to-school physical exams, feel free to call or stop by South Tampa Immediate Care in Tampa, FL.