Parents – ensure your little ones head back to school healthy!
The start of a new school year can be exciting! However, preparing for your kids to return to school means more than just school supplies shopping and registering for class. You want to ensure this school year is your child’s best year yet. For this to happen, it is important to plan for a healthy school year.
The school classroom is the perfect breeding area for germs to spread rapidly. Viral infections tend to be more common when a large group of kids gather. Studies find that in the 2022-2023 school year, 48% percent of children were diagnosed as sick, minimizing their classroom performance and keeping them home.
It is important to prepare in advance to ensure the health of your child this school year.
The Back-to-School Health Checklist
Here are some things you may do before school starts to get your kids prepared for a healthy year.
1. Current Immunizations
If you cannot remember the last time your child had a doctor’s office visit, now is the time to schedule one (you can use this as your reminder to schedule your annual check-up as well!). Children should see their pediatrician once a year to check their overall health and ensure they are up-to-date on the necessary vaccinations. Vaccinations protect kids from the spread of common diseases and keep them in the classroom.
Some state laws require students to have specific vaccinations to attend school.
2. School Physicals are Not Just for Sports
Physicals differ from annual checkups. They help ensure that a child is in good health to perform in the classroom, in extracurricular activities and on the athletic field. Things like hearing, vision, and more are tested to determine if the child is ready to participate in certain activities.
3. Proper Handwashing Begins at Home
Handwashing is the best defense against the spread of everyday germs. The proper hand washing technique starts from practice at home. It is recommended to teach your child to wash their hands for at least 20 seconds, before and after eating, after a cough or sneeze, and after touching multiple surfaces.
4. Have a Plan for Sick Day
While you may take many precautions, sometimes, getting sick is not always preventable. It is important to have a plan to keep your child home when they are sick. It is recommended to keep them out of school if they present any of the following:
- High fever with chills and shaking
- A persistent cough
- Frequent vomiting and diarrhea
- An unexplained rash
- Unable to complete everyday activities due to not feeling well
Staying home helps protects your child and others they may come in contact with at school.
5. Craft a Healthy Meal Plan
Your children’s ability to concentrate and retain the energy needed for academic success is directly reflected in the meals your child eats. Like most health habits, it begins at home. Eating a healthy breakfast is pertinent to a child’s productive school day. Parents should follow The Dietary Guidelines for Americans’ recommendations on what children and adolescents should and should not be eating daily.
24/7 Pediatric Care
For those late-night and early-morning sudden illnesses and injuries, Alexandria Emergency Hospital has you covered. Our team of expert-level pediatric physicians are skilled in providing infants and children accurate, comfortable, and rapid emergency room care that gets them feeling better and back in the classroom to excel!
Disclaimer: As a service to our readers, Alexandria Emergency Hospital and Nutex Health state no content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.