7 Back-to-School Health Tips
Hand washing | Immunizations | Regular check-ups | Routines | Nutrition | Lice | Allergens
Getting your kids ready to start the school year involves more than finding the perfect backpack, buying school supplies, and shopping for new clothes. It means safeguarding their health so they’ll be physically ready for the challenges of heading back to school.
Consider these tips for a healthy start for your child’s new school year.
1. Wash hands, sing a song
According to Mayo Clinic, the most effective way to avoid spreading or catching germs is hand washing.
To encourage kids and make sure they’ve spent enough time on this healthful task, ask them to sing the alphabet song or “Happy Birthday to You” from start to finish as they wash the fronts and backs of their hands and in-between fingers.
Simple soap and water is best, but hand sanitizers will do when soap and water aren’t available.
Remind your children to always cough or sneeze into the crooks of their elbows or into their sleeves.
2. Don’t forget the shots
Make sure your child’s immunizations are up to date. According to the CDC, every state requires certain vaccinations at different grade levels for children attending public and often private school. Some schools won’t allow students to attend without verification of these immunizations.
Flu vaccines are also recommended for all school-age children, unless the child has an allergy to the vaccine or a health problem that will cause complications from the vaccine.
3. Schedule a check-up
An annual physical exam will ensure your child is healthy and virus-free before going back to class.
In many school districts, a physical is required for those students who want to participate in school sports such as football.
Some states require a vision and hearing exam for students entering kindergarten. This is also a perfect time to update any prescriptions and have medication or other forms signed by your child’s doctor as needed.