It’s back to school season which means your littles are occupied by other people for hours during the day. Depending on where you are on your parenting journey this may cue either tears or a hallelujah. The only threat to this plan? Sickness because of the wave of new germs your young people are exposed to. Put a bunch of kids together and the germs will follow!
Go Back to School with Your Health in Tact
Here are our top 5 tips for back-to-school health so the whole household can nestle into the schooltime groove.
- Wash Those Hands
We are starting with the basics and nothing is more basic than hand washing. Now is a great time to emphasize to kids (and adults) how important it is to wash hands regularly. While washing hands before meals and after the restroom are no-brainers, add in washing hands whenever you come home from school or work; anytime you touch shared surfaces (from money to door handles to vending machines); and, whenever you’ve been in a group situation (think meeting or playdate).
While there’s certainly a range of the ‘right’ amount of sleep, we know that getting enough of it is crucial to keeping our bodies happy and healthy. As schedules shift from the lazy days of summer to a school day regimen, the time is right to do a sleep reset for the whole family. Not sure how much sleep is needed? Check out the age-based sleep reccomendations from our partners at the Mayo Clinic.
- Limit Sugar
Most kids we know don’t voluntarily pass on dessert, but reducing sugar throughout the day is a great way to support the immune system. Consider offering fresh fruit in place of sugary juices and other drinks. Protein-filled snacks (think meat sticks or Greek yogurt) will help little ones (and big ones) to be satiated longer and may reduce sugar cravings over time.
- Change Clothes
Make it a habit to change out of clothes when coming home from school or work. These clothes can pick up germs from others throughout the day and a quick change will lessen the likelihood that your family will get sick from them.
- Catch Up on Vaccinations
Especially after the COVID years where many health appointments were skipped or delayed, there’s a good chance your little ones need some catch-up shots. Call your doctor’s office to see what’s needed to keep your child up to date on immunizations before the chickenpox start making the rounds through your child’s classroom.
Here at Gateway Hancock Health, we hope your family stays in tip top shape year-round. But know that Gateway is just a short trip away should you need our immediate care, imaging, or lab services. From our family to yours, have a fantastic back to school season!