It’s that time of year, kids are getting ready to head back to school or in some areas have headed back. You are settling back into a routine for school, fall sports is near and lives just get busier. When back to school begins, not only do you help your kids work through the first day of school jitters, but as a parent, you have the worry and stresses of keeping your kids healthy through the school year. There are some nasty bugs that go around and reality is our kids are susceptible to these illnesses and surely will bring it home to share, and we don’t want that!
With kids returning back to school, how do you keep them healthy through the school year? How do you teach your kids how to protect themselves from germs and to not spread germs? What do you do if they get sick? As a mom of two, who shares the same questions and recently sent my kids back to school, I wanted to get these answers. In this month’s ask an expert, I interview Dr. Ngozi Ogbuehi who is a pediatrician at Texas Children’s Pediatrics Palm Center based in Houston, Texas. I created an amazing video with Dr. Ngozi, however I accidentally deleted the footage (I cried for hours). Don’t worry, I was able to get all the information needed from Dr. Ngozi. Scroll down to read our Q&A. for important tips to set your child for success this new school year.
You want to make sure your child is eating a well balanced diet, and if you have a picky eater, then you want to make sure they are taking a multivitamin daily. Make sure the multivitamin says complete, some times gummy vitamins will omit some of the nutrients so it can taste better.
Q&A on how to keep your kids healthy through the school year
1.What tips do you have to get kids ready to go back to school when it comes to routines? For example, I tend to not be so strict on bedtime in the summer but find when school starts up, it takes a few weeks for them to adjust? “Start practicing routines before school starts. Get everyone back into the routine of going back to bed on time, waking up at a certain time, meal prepping, make sure lunch is ready for school. Practice makes perfect, so start preparing ahead of time. You want to make sure that your kids are going to get at least eight to nine hours of sleep at night.”
2.What is the best way to teach kids, especially younger kids how to reduce catching or spreading germs at school? “The main thing is hygiene! Teach your kids to wash their hands. They should wash their hands very well before they eat, wash their hands whenever they come in from playing outside. Before they head to school, you want to practice everything at home, this way it is engrained in them, and they already know what to do when they get to school.”
3.What tips do you have for parents to prepare kids to return back to school in terms of keeping them healthy? “The biggest 3 things to keeping your kids healthy that parents should know are; 1. hygiene, which we talked about already, so make sure they are washing their hands. 2. Sleep is another big one; our bodies produce chemicals that help us to fight illness while we sleep, so you want to make sure your child is getting at least eight – nine hours of sleep every night. 3. The last one is nutrition. You want to make sure your child is eating a well balanced diet. If you have a picky eater, then you want to make sure they are taking a multivitamin daily. Make sure the multivitamin says “complete”, some times gummy vitamins will omit some of the nutrients so it can taste better. You want to make sure you are giving them vitamins that say complete.”
4.What is the one thing you wish all parents knew when it comes to school, kids getting sick and overall health? “Parents should pay attention to their children’s grades because the grades are a reflection of their children’s overall health. If their child is always struggling in school, and it’s been a long term issue, it could be a learning disorder. But if grades change throughout the school year, then you want check if your child is being bullied, is there something going on at school, is there something going on at home, so parents should really pay attention from the very beginning of the school year.”
5.What is one thing you wish kids knew or advice you would tell kids to get them excited and keep them motivated about school starting up and throughout the year? “It’s a brand new school year, no matter what happened last year, it’s a new year with new kids, new teachers, so everything gets a fresh start, and you get a new chance to start over, and do better than the pervious year. For parents, not every child is self motivated, so you might have to give your kids mini milestones to work towards. So if they have a great week at school, maybe they get something from the Dollar Tree, or they make it whole month and make it something even bigger, and if they do really great the whole semester maybe it’s that great toy they really want or a trip to their favorite movie. Setting milestones that your child can work towards is key.”
I hope you find these tips for keeping your kids healthy through the school year as helpful as I did. From one parent to another, wishing your child a healthy, happy and successful school year.