10 Tips for a Healthy Back-to-School Season

Healthy kids back in school

Summer is over and another “back-to-school” season is here! For many families, back-to-school season means busy fall schedules, a return to classroom and workplace settings, and balancing new weekly routines. All of these, unfortunately, contribute to heightened stress, increasing susceptibility to germs that induce a variety of illnesses.

To start the school year on a healthy note and keep sickness at bay, here are our top ten tips for keeping you and your family healthy:   

  • Wash Hands -- this simple health habit significantly reduces the spread of germs and reduces your risk of developing a variety of illnesses, especially diarrheal and respiratory infections. Use soap and clean running water for 20 seconds. A 60-percent alcohol-based hand sanitizer may be used instead. Wash hands before eating to minimize illness.  
  • Avoid Touching Your Face – Germs frequently gain access to our bodies’ systems through the mouth, nose, and eyes, especially when touching our faces. Remember, when you cough or sneeze, use your elbow instead of your hands.  
  • Keep Up-to-date on Vaccines, Medical Tests, and Check-ups – Make sure all family members are current with recommended tests, physicals, dental exams, and vaccines. Doctors recommend anyone over age 6 months get a seasonal flu vaccine. Call your child’s pediatrician and dentist to schedule appointments and vaccinations before school begins. Parents should monitor their own health history and schedule recommended check-ups and tests.  
  • Eat Healthy – Fruits and veggies are filled with vitamins that help combat illness and boost the body’s immune system. Buy produce in season to maximize its healthful benefits in your weekly meals. Fall is an especially bountiful time of healthful produce options. Take a look at some tips on eating healthy.
  • Cook Smart – Plan weekly meals and snacks ahead to avoid the “fast food trap.” Make grocery shopping a family adventure and teach kids how to make smart, healthy food choices. Prepare healthy, packed lunches for the whole family.  Let kids help with weekend meal preparations and make enough food to have leftovers ready for hectic weekdays. Adapt favorite recipes to incorporate healthier alternative ingredients, like vegetables and whole grains. Take a look at some fun family recipes.
  • Be Active -- Kids should have at least 60 minutes of activity daily; grownups at least 30 minutes daily. Being fit and maintaining a healthy weight leads to stronger bones and muscles, better sleep habits and less sickness. Plan fun family weekend trips to the park to stay active and connected. Encourage your children to get outside. Limit screen time to less than two hours/day for kids ages two and older. Above all, set the standard and be an example if developing lifelong fitness habits.  
  • Disinfect Your Home and Workspace – Minimize germs at home and in the workplace. Disinfect your kitchen and bathroom – the home’s two leading germs “hot spots” -- as often as possible with bleach-based solution and wash children’s toys regularly. At work, be sure to clean frequently touched objects and surfaces (doorknobs, keyboards, desk/work surfaces, and phones.)  
  • Institute Family Safety Practices – Instill the importance of safety seats and seat belts for all passengers when traveling and no texting while driving. Wear helmets and gloves when bicycling and reflective or bright clothes during those early morning walks to school or the bus stop. Keep hazardous chemicals out of reach of children and prominently display the Poison Control Center phone number (1-800-222-1222.) Install smoke detectors on all levels of the home, including bedrooms and surrounding areas. Check smoke detector batteries when you change your clocks. Devise a family safety plan in event of fire or emergency. Teach your child when and how to make a 911 phone call and what to do if a fire or emergency occurs.
  • Get Required Sleep – Make sure you and your family get enough sleep. The amount of sleep varies according to the age of children, with healthy adults needing seven to nine hours of sleep per night. Adequate rest for kids is vital for optimal growth.      
  • Enjoy Downtime – Packed activities schedules can lead to over-extension, stress, and illness. Kids and parents require downtime to relax and recharge. Let kids choose one or two activities they truly enjoy. Parents should likewise be selective with commitments to avoid becoming overwrought, overextended and stressed. Plan quiet family activities like movie or game nights, cooking dinner, or doing crafts together with individual pursuits to maintain your family’s well-being.

Your Capital Women’s Care team is here for you and your family if you or your loved ones become stressed or need treatment for illness.

Our Mission

The providers of Capital Women's Care seek the highest quality medical and ethical standard in an environment that nurtures the spirit of caring for every woman.

 

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