Back to School: 5 Tips for a Healthy School Year

By eMedical Urgent Care back to school

Say so long to sweet summer and hello to the 2014-2015 school year. By now school supplies are purchased and the countdown until the kids go back to school is over. You’ve done all you can to prepare your child for a successful school year, but have you prepared them for a healthy one too? Here are back to school tips from the urgent care Middletown NJ and Berkeley Heights NJ doctors to help your child avoid sneezing ‘‘achoo” and keep cheering ”woo hoo” all year long.

Count Enough Sheep

Transitioning your child from summertime to a new bedtime can be a challenge, but one of the biggest health-related issues for elementary school-aged children is exhaustion; children need at least 10 to 11 hours of sleep each night.

During the first few weeks of school, your child may come home tired and in need of a nap. Consider allowing your child to rest for 45 minutes, if he or she can’t sleep, try 45 minutes of quiet time to help rejuvenate your child before homework, dinner, bath time and bedtime.

Plenty of rest at night will help to ensure a healthy start to the school day.

Morning Meal Time

In an ideal world, your child would sit down to breakfast each morning prior to heading to school. In reality, it is 8:15 a.m. the bus comes at 8:20 a.m. and your child’s shoe decided to play a game of hide-and-seek. The easiest thing to grab may be a sweet, sugary snack, but before you pick up the Pop Tart, consider whole grain cereal or an apple. While delicious, sweet, sugary snacks will give your child a jolt of energy which will come to a screeching halt within hours.

Your child’s teacher also will appreciate him not coming to school on a sugar high.

Eyes and Ears

You can’t expect a child to learn if he or she is having trouble seeing the board or hearing the teacher. So have your local Middletown NJ or Berkeley Heights NJ eMedical Urgent Care screen for vision and hearing problems during your child’s back-to-school checkup.

Remember: You can’t assume your child has 20/20 vision just because he never complains about not being able to see; children with vision problems may not realize the world isn’t blurry to everybody else. If your child often has headaches, tilts his head to one side to read schoolwork, or holds objects unusually close or far away to view them, it could be a sign that he has a vision problem.

Healthy Hand-Washing Habits

Start healthy habits while they’re young and teach your child the importance of frequent hand-washing. Hand-washing is essential before dinner or after they use the bathroom, blow their noses or touch pets and other animals. Teach your child these steps:

  • Wet hands with clean, warm water.
  • Soap up, rub hands together, making sure to get between the fingers.
  • Continue rubbing for 20 seconds. Younger children can sing “Happy Birthday” twice to count the time.
  • Rinse with warm, running water.
  • Dry hands on clean towel.

If your child rockets out of the bathroom without stopping at the sink, consider sending her to school with a packet of antibacterial wipes. They’re not as effective as soap and water, but they may have more appeal for young children. (You also can check how many wipes are left at the end of the day to see whether your child is really using them.)

Stay Active

From pool days to school days, your child has gone from running around the backyard to sitting at a desk. Children should get 20 to 30 minutes of regular, non-stop exercise a day. Physical education classes help get your child active but often time is spent standing around waiting for the ball. Bike riding, walks and a trip to the park will benefit the whole family.

Going back to school is not only an adjustment for children but for parents too. Be sure to get plenty of rest, eat breakfast and stay active! And if you want to take an extra step to prevent illness this school year, bring the family to eMedical Urgent Care to get flu shots. We will be holding a Drive-Thru Flu Clinic at our Middletown NJ office on Sept. 20 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.

If you need medical attention for a non-life-threatening illness or injury, both our eMedical Urgent Care Middletown NJ and eMedical Urgent Care Berkeley Heights NJ are open during the evening hours to treat walk-in patients. If you have questions about medical conditions, download iTriage from the iTunes or Android Marketplace, or check out iTriageHealth.com for your healthcare answers.

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