A Few Healthy Tips as Children Head Back to School

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Dr. Janet Seabrook

It’s hard to believe that it’s almost time for children to return to school! It’s pretty common to abandon some of our healthy habits and routines during the summer, but now is a great time to get back on track as the school bell rings! Here are a few tips for our children and even parents to help make this one of the healthiest school years yet.

  1. Get adequate rest. Did you know that a good night’s sleep is just as important as regular exercise and a healthy diet? I know many have spent the summer staying up late, especially since there is more daylight to enjoy, but it’s time to get back on schedule. Try to get at least 7 to 8 hours of sleep in order to be well-rested and alert for the school day.
  2. Get active. Back to school time can be extremely hectic, but let’s not forget to add some type of exercise to the schedule. If walking to school is an option, then great! This is also a great time to sign up for sports and other extra-curricular activities to keep our bodies moving.
  3. Eat right. Nothing says summer like lots of high-calorie foods, desserts and beverages! Time out for all of that! Set a goal to pack healthy lunches for the kids and for you as well! In fact, why not go grocery shopping together and make preparing the lunches a family activity?
  4. Get a physical check-up. Whether engaging in sports or not, now is the perfect time to get a physical exam. There may have been some changes in your child’s health over the summer such as the development of an allergy. Perhaps glasses or medication may now be required. A medical examination can also help inform the school nurse of any special conditions your child has and what needs to be done in the event of an emergency.
  5. Be mindful of your child’s mental well-being. Sometimes a new school or new people can trigger some social or mental challenges. Parents, please be sure to stay engaged on how well your child is adjusting during the first few weeks of school. Ask questions about the people they’ve met and how they are getting along with teachers and peers. If there are changes in mood and/or behavior, schedule a school visit to see what’s going and determine if professional intervention is needed.

Other suggestions I would add to the list include studying hard and doing your best at all times! Have a happy and healthy school year!

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