5 Steps Parents Can Take
By Sandy Tidmore – Community Educator for the Delta Screen Team
It’s that time of year again – back to school. Schools buses, notebooks, classrooms, assignments and P.E. This is an exciting time for children. Students can be anxious about seeing old classmates again, meeting their new teachers and making new friends. However, all these students together in the same places are breeding grounds for different illnesses. Here are some suggestions for having a healthy school year for your child:
1. Make sure your child is current on all immunizations and shots
Children who don’t have their vaccines can catch serious diseases, and pass them on to young children who aren’t old enough to be vaccinated. Vaccines are easy ways to keep your children healthy.
2. Wash hands
Teaching children to properly wash their hands properly can be one of the most effective measures to prevent the spreading of germs. The amount of items we come in contact with our hands can be frightening. Gas pumps, door knobs, and even our cell phones hold thousands of germs we touch throughout the day. It sounds simple, but washing hands thoroughly everyday can remove many of these potential illness-carrying germs.
3. Take your child for a Healthy Visit
Schedule a visit with pediatrician before school starts to make sure everything is normal and checks out fine. Regular checkups help ensure the child is where he or she needs to be developmentally.
4. Make sure your child has had a recent eye exam
It’s hard for children who can’t see the whiteboard to do well in class. Eye exams are often overlooked but can be a direct reflection of a child’s grades and behavior in the classroom.
5. Have a healthy diet
Children with the right food and nutrients are healthier and stronger than those who don’t have a well-balanced diet. You should talk to your child about healthy options for their lunchbox and make sure that they have a balanced and nutritious diet. This includes avoiding sodas and sweets as much as possible.
6. Get enough sleep
Sleep is one of the best ways to stay healthy. Children should have at least 9-10 hours of sleep per night. Turn off cell phones and the TV well before bedtime so you child can relax and clear their mind before sleep. Tired students lose focus in the classroom, which can cause their grades to suffer.
All of these different services are available by the NSMC Screen Team in school districts across the state. Come by for a screening to make sure your child’s health is in the right shape for back to school and beyond!