A new school year has begun. Wouldn’t it be great if your child didn’t bring home every cold and stomach bug that comes along? Here are some tips that can help your child stay healthy and learn good health habits along with all the math, reading, and social studies.
Proper handwashing is one of the most effective ways to help prevent the spread of illnesses. It’s especially important for school-age children who are in close contact with others and who share materials throughout the day. Here’s a guide to washing hands correctly.
The Mayo Clinic recommends giving your child alcohol-based sanitizer to keep handy. Kids can use it before eating snacks or lunch and after using a shared computer, pencil sharpener, water fountain or other community objects.2
If your child touches something that someone with a cold has touched and then touches his eyes or mouth, the cold virus can enter his body. Infections such as pink eye can also be transmitted by touching eyes after touching an object that has been handled by someone with the infection.1
Here’s a simple rule to share with your child: If you put the item in your mouth, keep it to yourself.2
This can help protect both your child and those he or she comes in contact with. It can also help keep your child from catching the flu and bringing it home to the rest of your family.2
Laughter may actually boost immune system function and reduce the levels of stress hormones and increase feel-good hormones.1 A sense of humor is good medicine. Helping kids laugh – and laugh it off – can be a big help.
Breakfast really is the most important meal of the day. It’s important for brain function and for maintaining a steady level of energy throughout the day. Here are some practical suggestions to help make sure that your kids get a good breakfast:
An easy way to pack a balanced lunch is to think about the different food groups. What will be the whole grain, the dairy, fruit, vegetables, and protein source? One example of a good combination is lean turkey and cheese on a whole grain pita, with apple slices and carrots.2
An overloaded backpack can cause back, shoulder, and neck pain. It can even affect a child’s balance and lead to falls. Here are things to keep in mind when choosing a backpack:
It’s a great way to increase kids’ physical activity, reduce time watching TV and playing video games, and have fun. If you join your kids, you’ll help yourself and be a good role model at the same time.5
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