Back-to-school health tips

Don’t Forget the Shots

Make sure your child’s immunizations are up to date. You will need to provide verification of these immunizations to your child’s school. 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.

Schedule a Checkup

An annual physical exam will ensure your child is healthy and virus-free before going back to class. In addition, if your child will play sports, make sure you also ask for a sports physical.

Reinstate Routines

At least a week before classes start, shift your kids from summer carefree sleep hours to bedtime schedules more in line with the school year. It’s time they cut back on playing computer games and watching television. Help your child with this transition by encouraging reading or playing quiet games an hour before going to bed.

Power Up With Good Nutrition

Students who eat breakfast versus those who don’t are more alert during class. Plus, the right foods combined with adequate rest will help their bodies fight off infections.

Food allergies

Eating in the cafeteria can present a number of problems for those suffering with food allergies. Discuss any allergy concerns with your child’s school nurse as soon as possible at the start of the school year.

And, finally, wash hands

The most effective way to avoid spreading or catching germs is to encourage hand washing. To make sure kids have 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 those aren’t available. Remind your children to always cough or sneeze into the crooks of their elbows or into their sleeves.