School is many things—a place where kids learn and grow cognitively, develop social skills, and become independent individuals. It can also, alas, be a place where they pick up germs and illnesses and bring them home.
At school, children spend a lot of time in classrooms where they can easily transfer infections to one another. But by teaching kids some important healthy habits, parents can help make school and health a priority during the school year. Here are some great tips on how to keep your kids healthy.
Hand washing is one of the most important ways we can prevent the spread of illness in the classroom and elsewhere. By teaching your child how to wash her hands properly—and to especially wash after blowing her nose, using the bathroom and before eating—you can help her reduce the risk of getting sick, and keep her from infecting others if she catches an infection or illness.1
Keeping your child’s immune system strong is an important way to stay healthy and ward off illness during the school year. Getting enough sleep, maintaining a healthy diet, managing stress, exercising, making time to laugh, and emphasizing hand washing can help reduce your child’s risk of getting colds, flu, and other infections.2
Does your child know the important healthy habits to prevent colds, flu, and other infections? Healthy habits such as remembering not to keep touching his eyes or refraining from sharing cups and utensils with friends are important to learn.2
Making sure your child gets enough sleep is a crucial part of keeping her healthy. Sleep is important not only for a child’s physical and emotional health but it can play an important role in how well she does in school, too.3
Homework, tests, 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, just like it can on the health of adults.4 Find out how to spot the symptoms of stress in your child and find ways to manage his anxiety.
Breakfast really is the most important meal of the day when it comes to school kids. A balanced breakfast of protein and complex carbohydrates has been shown to be important for brain function as well as for maintaining a steady level of energy throughout the day.5
Make healthy lunches more fun and enticing with ideas for yummy main dishes and sides dressed up in colorful combinations and shapes. There’s even a suggestion for a healthy Asian bento lunch box.
Kids are often ravenous after school. But you don’t have to sacrifice good nutrition for convenience. Use ideas for quick, easy, and healthy after-school snacks.
School backpacks today are heavier than ever, and using the wrong type of backpack and wearing it incorrectly can lead to back pain in kids.6 Make sure you prevent back problems in your child by following tips for choosing and using backpacks correctly.
As much as we don’t want to think about head lice, the fact is that it’s a common problem among school-age kids.7 Children are in close contact at school and more likely to share blankets or other personal items. Learn the facts and myths about head lice and how to help your kids steer clear of this annoying yet common problem at school.