Keeping Kids Healthy during the School Year
No matter how hard you work to keep your child healthy during the winter months, you cannot control whether or not other parents send their sick children to school. However, this means that your child is going to be constantly at risk for getting stuck in a cycle of being sick and healthy throughout the school year. While not all school illnesses can be avoided, there are some things you can do to keep your kid on the healthier side.
All children should be taught how to wash their hands and avoid contact with their eyes, nose and mouth. When it comes to washing hands, there is a correct way to ensure that you are killing as many germs as possible. Kids should learn that they need warm water and that they need to lather up with soap for a full 15 to 20 seconds.
Washing hands is only half the battle as hands do not stay clean for very long. Kids should be taught to avoid touching their eyes, nose and mouth after touching anything the could potentially be contaminated.
Sharing is Caring Unless Someone is Sick
Some kids enjoy exchanging and sharing their food and drinks. However, contact with food is one of the ways that infections spread, so your kid could be risking an illness every time they share food or drinks with their friends. There are certain infections that are widely spread this way, including mononucleosis, also known as the “kissing disease,” which can cause a kid to miss several weeks or even months of school.
Reduce the Stress
Kids have quite a bit to stress over in this day and age. High school kids may be trying to balance a social life, after school activities, homework and college prep all at the same time. Younger kids may be facing bullying and feelings of self-doubt. Stress can potentially cause a kid to feel ill and may even prevent them from being as productive as possible. There are some ways to combat and reduce stress,
First, parents should help their children set realistic expectations. Learning how to focus on one task at a time can help. Reducing the overall amount of duties the child has can also reduce stress. Parents should also ensure that their kids are getting some free time to hang with friends, get out of the house and get some exercise at some point during the day. If all else fails, chewing gum can help temporarily relieve stress and anxiety.
School food is not always the most nutritious food a kid can get his or her hands on. However, having a good diet full of healthy foods is not only good for general health, but it also can help a person feel better. The healthier a kid is, the easier it is for their immune system to fight off infections and germs. Diets that include eggs, beans, nuts and dairy items provide everything they need to stay fueled and healthy. In addition to a good diet, adding some daily vitamins can also give the immune system a boost. A daily dose of vitamin C can help protect against infections or reduce the severity of an infection if the kid does get sick.
Being sick while in school is no fun. Like everything else, however, staying healthy can become another chore that kids have to worry about. By helping your child stay healthy, they will have a better school experience without having to worry about constantly missing classes and having to make up the work that they missed.