Help Your Child Succeed with These Back to School Health Tips
Can you believe it’s that time of year already? School supplies have hit the aisles in stores and your back-to-school shopping list just keeps getting longer. Adding to your already jam-packed schedule are the routine medical exams your child needs before they can even start school. But don’t worry, at SIHF Healthcare, we’ve got you covered. You can stay ahead of the back-to-school craze by getting your child’s school physical and dental exam all in one place! Our medical services are fully integrated, so you can see various providers at one location, saving time, reducing travel costs, and eliminating stress. To help you prepare even further, SIHF Healthcare is offering a few back-to-school health tips to keep you and your little ones on track this year.
Would you ever think of associating backpacks with your child’s safety? Many parents wouldn’t, however, poor backpack usage can result in strained muscles. Start with the build of the backpack: it should have a padded back and wide, padded shoulder straps. Adjust the straps so the bottom of the pack sits at your child’s waist. Remove unnecessary items from the pack regularly, so as to keep it light; the backpack should never exceed more than 20% of your child’s body weight. Finally, remind your child to always use both shoulder straps, as only using one should can hurt their back and shoulders.
The food your child eats can dictate their mood, health, and energy. Studies have shown that children who eat a filling, nutritious breakfast perform better at school, have more energy, and improved concentration. Educate your child on the food pyramid, and how to eat healthy while still eating delicious foods. Allowing them to take part in choosing what they put in their body will give them a sense of independence and encourage long-term, healthy eating habits.
Sleep is critical in a child’s success in school. Children 12 and under should be getting 10-12 hours of sleep per night, and adolescents 13-18 years old should be getting 8-10 hours per night. To encourage a consistent bedtime, develop a routine that will help settle your child before they crawl under the blankets. Have them turn off any electronics at least one hour before bed time; studies have shown they can disrupt the natural sleep-wake cycle pattern.
It’s a natural part of growing up to learn how to share. Some things, however, are better left unshared - like germs. Teach your child to avoid sharing personal items such as hats, combs, lip balm, earbuds, and drinks as they can all easily spread germs. Remind them to cover their mouth when they cough with the corner of their elbow, and encourage frequent hand washing (especially before meals).
The pediatrician’s at SIHF Healthcare want to keep your child healthy this school season. Whether you need to get their school physical, dental exam or necessary vaccinations, you can do it all with us. During your appointment, our providers will work directly with your child to encourage healthy habits, ensuring strong development. To make an appointment with our certified pediatricians or nurse practitioners, please visit www.sihf.org.