Back-to-school season can be both an exciting and stressful time for families. Everyone is trying to work out their new routines and get back into the swing of school schedules. One major challenge families face during this time is sickness, especially since it coincides with cold and flu season. However, there are ways you can keep your kids healthy during this time of year. Read on for five must-have tips to ensure your kid’s health, from teaching them how to wash their hands properly to keeping a healthy stock of cough medicine for kids on hand.
1. Teach Proper Handwashing Practices
The common cold and flu are airborne illnesses that are contracted through the spread of germs. The most common way children end up with these illnesses is from everyday touching of surfaces. That’s why handwashing is an incredibly important practice to ensure children are riding themselves of germs whenever possible.
Review proper handwashing techniques with your children to ensure they are following the best process to prevent the spread of illness. In addition, consider stocking them with hand sanitizer so they can clean their hands in a pinch if they are unable to get to a bathroom to wash their hands.
2. Establish Healthy Sleeping Habits
A lack of sleep can lead to an increase in sickness, so it’s imperative that your children are logging the right amount of hours to get the rest they need. Make sure you establish a solid bedtime routine with your kids and stick to it as best you can to ensure everyone is getting the recommended amount of sleep each night. Preschool children aged 3–5 years old should get 10–13 hours of sleep per 24 hours, children aged 6–12 years old need 9–12 hours of sleep per 24 hours, and teens aged 13–18 years old should log 8–10 hours of sleep per 24 hours.
One surefire way to help your kids get the rest they need is to ensure they are being active throughout the day. When our bodies are active, they are able to rest easier. Staying active is yet another way you can help fend off illness so you can enjoy double the benefits by making sure your children get enough exercise each day.
3. Help Children Boost Their Immune System
Ensuring your child’s immune system is functioning properly is a great measure of maintaining their health during the back-to-school season. There are a variety of ways to get foods and drinks into your child’s diet that help boost a kid’s immune system. Vitamin C is an excellent source of fuel, and you can find this in citrus foods and drinks or leafy greens such as spinach. Search for foods with antioxidants such as broccoli, blueberries, or yogurt.
4. Keep Cough Medicine for Kids on Hand
Staying proactive for your kid’s health is important in getting them back on their feet more quickly. There’s nothing worse than having to run out late at night or after a full day of school and activities to pick up cough medicine for kids. If your child ends up with chest congestion or a cough, you will want to have cough medicine for kids to take as soon as they start to feel sick to help them recover sooner. Stock up now so you can prepare in the event that you do need it throughout the season.
5. Reduce Stress and Anxiety
The back-to-school season can feel stressful for many kids. They are starting a new grade and have to handle all the new things they will be learning. They have to handle any activities or sports they are participating in and the time management associated with maintaining their schedule. They also have all the traditional social challenges to face.
Stress and anxiety can be a roadblock to staying healthy. Often kids fall into poor eating habits or struggle to get enough rest due to stress. Stay alert to see how your kids are managing their stress and if they are feeling anxious. Provide solutions to help them combat that, and talk with them about how they are feeling so you can come up with a solution together.
As a parent, being proactive is one of the best things you can do to help maintain the health of your children. Back-to-school season isn’t just a stressful time for kids, but it can be a stressful time for parents as well. With these tips, you can begin implementing important steps to help everyone in the family practice wellness properly to avoid sickness. And, if illness does strike at home, you can arm yourself with the tools you need to help your kids find relief.