7 Ways to Keep Kids Healthy During the School Year

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September 04, 2019 By Kris Nwokeji

School is a place where kids learn and grow, develop social skills, and become independent individuals. It is also a place where they bring home germs of illness. They spend a lot of time in classrooms where the virus and bacteria transfer to one another easily. But by teaching kids some important healthy habits, parents can help make school and health a priority during the school year.

Tips on How to Keep Your Kids Healthy:

1. Teach Your Child About Proper Handwashing:

Hand washing is one of the most important ways that can prevent the spread of illness in the classroom. By teaching your child how to wash hands properly, you can help keep the child from getting sick, and from infecting others if the child catches infections or illness.

 Tips for Teaching Hand Washing:

  • Wash your own hands.

  • Talk to your child about when, why, and how.

  • Make sure the sink is accessible for your child.

  • Make it a fun task: buy fruit-smelling or toy soap.

2. Give Your Child a Brain-Boosting Healthy Breakfast:

Eating breakfast has been associated with better academic behavior in children. And eating a balanced breakfast includes protein, complex carbohydrates, and helps to boost brain functions.

Tips for Healthy Breakfast:

  • Boil some eggs.

  • Offer some fish.

  • Choose whole grain and skip the sugar cereal.

3. Boosting the Immune System Health:

Keeping your child’s immune system strong is an important way to stay healthy. Maintaining a healthy diet can help reduce your child’s risk of getting cold, flu, and other infections.

Tips for a Good Immune System:

  • Eat a healthy balanced diet.

  • Get enough sleep.

  • Exercise.

  • Laugh together.

4. Teach Your Child Healthy Habits:

While it's not possible to shield your kids completely from catching a cold or the flu, especially if they attend daycare or school, you can teach them healthy habits to boost their immune systems and decrease their chances of picking up an infection.

Tips for Healthy Habits:

  • Get them into the handwashing habit.

  • Show them how to cough and sneeze properly.

  • Tell them to avoid touching their eyes.

  • Encourage them not to share utensils and cups with friends.

5. Give Your Child Healthy Afterschool Snacks:

When kids get home after school, they are often ravenously hungry. School-age children may not need to eat as frequently as they did when they were toddlers, but they are growing children who still need snacks.

But just because you need to feed them fast doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice healthy eating.

Tips for Healthy Afterschool Snacks:

  • Healthy snacks are important for the brain as well as the body.

  • Do not let your child overdo snacks after school.

  • Slow down the snacking.

  • Shop for healthy snacks together.

6. Set Good Sleep Habits:

Making sure your child gets enough sleep is a crucial part of keeping the child healthy. Sleep is important not only for a child's physical and emotional health but it can play an important role in how well the child does in school too.

Tips for Good Sleep Habits:

  • Stick a routine time for sleep.

  • Limit electronic stimulants before bedtime.

  • Keep the room comfortable for sleeping.

  • Don’t allow coffee before bedtime.

  • Watch your child instead of the clock.

7. Lookout for Anxiety or Stress in Your Child:

With homework, tests, and social pressures kids can face a lot of stressful situations every day. Research shows that stress and anxiety can have a negative impact on kids' health. Find out how to spot the symptoms of stress in your child and find ways to manage his anxiety.

Signs of Anxiety in children:

Behavioral or Emotional:

  • Difficulty in concentrating.

  • Fears (fear of the dark, being alone, or of strangers).

Physical:

  • Bed wetting.

  • Sleep problems, nightmares.

Your child's health includes physical, mental and social well-being. Most parents know the basics of keeping children healthy, like offering them healthy foods, making sure they get enough sleep and exercise, and ensuring their safety. It is also important for children to get regular checkups with their health care provider. These visits are a chance to check your child's development. They are also a good time to catch or prevent problems.

Written by

Kris Nwokeji

Dr. Kris Nwokeji was born in Austin, in the state of Texas to Nigerian parents. His parents' relocation to the motherland and his incessant thirst to help children brought him to medical school at Abia State University at the young age of 16.


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