The back to school season is the perfect time for the nation’s 76 million students (as well as those responsible for caring for them) to evaluate their lives and take steps toward building healthy habits. Healthy living makes it easier for students to perform their best in school, and it also decreases their likelihood of developing serious health problems as they get older.
Every parent and guardian wants their child to be healthy. It’s not always easy to know how to promote health in a sustainable way, though. If this is the case for you, read on for ten great back to school health tips everyone ought to know.
1. Establish a Sleep Schedule
For kids to be able to stay focused throughout the school day, they need to get a good night’s sleep the night before. Poor sleep can also lead to behavior problems and difficulty remembering facts and details.
Make sure your kids are going to bed at the same time each night and waking up at the same time each morning. It’s best if they stick to roughly the same sleep schedule on the weekends, too.
2. Stock Your Fridge and Pantry
Eating healthy, nutrient-dense foods will also set your kids up for success and ensure that they have the energy they need to perform well at school. Stock up your fridge and pantry with healthy staples for breakfast and dinner, and check that you have portable, nutritious foods on-hand for their lunches as well.
Focus on giving your kids lots of fruits and vegetables, as well as healthy protein sources. Minimize the amount of sugar and processed carbs they eat each day by limiting things like chips, crackers, and cookies. Center their meals around whole foods instead.
3. Manage Stress
It doesn’t matter if your kid is in kindergarten or is a senior in high school. No matter their age, going back to school can be stressful. It’s easy for children to feel overwhelmed by the amount of homework they have to deal with, as well as potential negative interactions they might be having with their classmates.
Ensure that your children have healthy outlets for their stress. Let them know that they can talk about any problems that arise. Try not to overload their schedules, either; give them space to just be kids, without too many responsibilities.
4. Encourage Good Hygiene
Talk to your kids about the importance of washing their hands on a regular basis, too. Frequent hand washing is one of the easiest and most effective strategies they can implement to protect themselves from illness.
Back to school season often causes conditions like colds and cases of flu to spread like wildfire. If your child is in the habit of washing up often, though, they’ll be much less likely to come down with these sicknesses themselves.
5. Keep Everyone Hydrated
Regular hydration is important for building a strong immune system and making sure all systems of the body are functioning in the proper way. If your child drinks enough water, they’ll be more energized, have better focus, and be less prone to issues like headaches. Encourage them to keep a water bottle with them and refill it throughout the day.
6. Control Allergy Symptoms
Many children struggle with seasonal allergies, and it’s not uncommon for their allergy symptoms to hinder their productivity or to be so severe that they have to miss school. To avoid this, take steps to control your child’s allergies before they get out of hand.
If you don’t want them to take allergy medication every day, consider using natural remedies like raw local honey, bee pollen, and probiotic supplements. These help to strengthen their immune system and make it easier for kids (and adults) to combat allergies with ease.
7. Promote Regular Activity
Kids are moving less than ever before these days, even at school as PE programs get cut from the curriculum. If your child doesn’t have an opportunity to be active, they may have more behavior problems in class. They may also have trouble concentrating and difficulty sleeping at night.
If activity isn’t built into their school day, give your kids time to be active outside when school’s over. Let them ride their bikes before they start homework or sign them up for a sport like soccer or gymnastics.
8. Choose the Right Backpack
A backpack that doesn’t fit well or is too heavy will make school very difficult for your child. It can ruin their posture and result in headaches, neck pain, and other issues. Make sure their backpack straps are adjustable and warn them against packing it with too much.
9. Avoid Vaping
Millions of middle school and high school children vape on a regular basis. They assume it’s a safe alternative to smoking, but that’s definitely not the case. Talk to your child about the dangers of vaping and encourage them to avoid it, regardless of what their friends are doing.
10. Save Time and Order Drugs Online
No matter how careful you are, chances are your kids are going to come down with some kind of bug at some point during the school year. When you’re a busy parent, it’s hard to find time to run to the pharmacy to pick up prescriptions.
To get access to the medication you need right away, without having to leave the house, consider ordering prescriptions online. According to the folks at CanDrugStore, this is a safe and convenient way to get your prescriptions and get your kids taken care of as soon as sickness hits.
Try These Back to School Health Tips Today
As you can see, there are lots of back to school health tips to keep in mind if you want to make sure your children feel great and perform their best this year. If you’re feeling daunted by all this advice, remember that you don’t have to overhaul everything all at once. Making small, gradual changes increases the likelihood that they’ll stick and sets your kids (and you) up for long-term success.
Do you want to learn more about what you can do as a parent to help your kids improve all aspects of their health? If so, check out some of the other health-related resources on the site today.