### Tips to Keep Your Kids Healthy Throughout the School Season

Learning and advancing intellectually, fostering social development, and cultivating self-reliance are pivotal elements of the educational journey. This piece delves into strategies to enhance your child’s immune system and shield them from illnesses.

The majority of a child’s day is spent within classrooms, which serve as breeding grounds for germs and illnesses that can easily spread among students.

Instilling healthy habits such as regular hand washing, sufficient sleep, and a balanced diet is crucial from an early age. Parents play a key role in demonstrating and encouraging these health-promoting behaviors to their children throughout the school year.

Verify Your Vaccination Status

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Vaccines stand as the most effective shield against 16 different diseases. However, the pandemic led to a significant decline in timely vaccination for many children.

Children over six months old are now eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine. Schedule your child’s vaccination appointment with their pediatrician, ensuring they receive all necessary vaccines, including the seasonal flu shot, by the end of this month.

According to the CDC, all children aged six months and older should receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Those who are fully vaccinated face a lower risk of contracting and spreading diseases.

Consult your child’s pediatrician if you need guidance on obtaining vaccinations for your child.

Educate Them on Proper Hand Washing Techniques

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A minimum of 20 seconds spent washing hands with soap and water is critical in preventing illnesses at school and beyond. Kids can easily spread germs by touching their faces, especially if they have come into contact with pathogens.

Consistent hand washing is essential in slowing the spread of germs and protecting the entire family from falling ill.

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Immunization and mask-wearing are vital in preventing the spread of COVID-19. Encourage children to avoid close contact, wash hands frequently, and follow recommended guidelines.

Teach children the importance of proper hand hygiene, especially after blowing their nose, using the restroom, or before meals. This practice reduces their chances of falling ill or infecting others.

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Assist young children in handwashing. For those unable to wash hands regularly, the CDC recommends using hand sanitizers with at least 60% alcohol to eliminate germs that cause infections, including COVID-19.

Support Their Immune System

Maintaining children’s overall health is crucial for optimal immune function.

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Ensuring children get sufficient sleep, eat well, manage stress, exercise, laugh, and emphasize hand hygiene can reduce their susceptibility to colds, flu, and other infections.

Even with precautions, children typically experience six to eight colds annually as their immune systems mature. Schools must take proactive measures to prevent diseases, particularly with COVID-19 still prevalent in the upcoming school year.

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Vaccination remains the most effective preventive measure against illnesses. While some parents consider supplementing their children’s diets with elderberry or high-dose vitamins like vitamin C, consulting the child’s doctor before administering any supplements is advisable.

The AAP recommends against vitamin supplements for healthy children with a diverse diet, emphasizing obtaining nutrients primarily from food sources.

Monitor Signs of Anxiety and Stress

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Children face various stressors daily, including academic pressure and peer interactions. Stress can impact children’s health adversely, mirroring its effects on adults. Recognizing stress signals in children and assisting them in coping effectively is essential.

As children adapt to new routines and challenges, particularly in the aftermath of the pandemic, parents should remain attentive to signs of distress and provide support accordingly.

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Empower children to make decisions regarding their behavior and relaxation techniques. Customizing stress management approaches to each child’s preferences is key. If self-help strategies prove insufficient, consulting the child’s pediatrician for further guidance is recommended.

Establish Consistent Sleep Patterns

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Ensuring children receive adequate sleep is vital for their well-being. Research indicates that insufficient sleep can have detrimental effects on children, affecting their physical, emotional, and academic performance.

Despite challenges, maintaining a consistent sleep schedule can significantly improve a child’s sleep quality and overall health.

Prioritize a Nourishing Breakfast

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Breakfast holds significant importance for students, providing essential nutrients for optimal brain function and sustained energy levels.

Studies show that children who eat breakfast regularly tend to meet their dietary requirements more effectively and consume less unhealthy fats and cholesterol. Additionally, regular breakfast consumption is linked to higher levels of vital nutrients like iron, B vitamins, and vitamin D.

Incorporate Healthy Snacks into Their Routine

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After-school hunger pangs are common among children, but it’s essential to offer nutritious snacks free from excessive sugar, fat, or additives.

Healthy snacks complement meals by providing necessary nutrients, reinforcing the concept of eating only when genuinely hungry. This practice encourages children to make healthier dietary choices.

For more insightful articles, explore Pets at Home That Could Make You Sick, Protecting Your Family From the Omicron Covid-19 Variant, Are Your Kids Safe Around Covid-Vaccinated People?.