Tips for a Healthy School Year

With the kiddos back in school and flu season quickly approaching, many parents are left wondering how they can best protect their children’s health throughout the school year.  Here’s five tips on keeping your child at their healthiest:

  1. Getting Enough Sleep
    Between homework, dinner, extra-curricular activities, and much needed family time, it can be hard to get your youngsters in bed early enough; but sleep is essential for proper brain function, growth, and infection fighting. For preschool aged children the recommended amount of sleep is 10 to 13 hours; elementary aged kids need 9 to 11 hours per night; and teenagers can get away with 8 to 10 hours.

2. Meals
A protein filled breakfast, healthy lunch, and sit-down family dinner can do a lot for the health of your child! Even throughout all the hustle and bustle, make time for sit-down healthy meals at home with your family and take time to listen your child talk about their experiences at school and with their friends.  Doing this will be impactful to both their physical and mental health!

3. Call in Sick!
It can be especially stressful for working parents to keep their children home, but for the sake of your child’s comfort and recovery, and for the health of other children, keep your child home when they are sick.

4. Be Active
The winter months can lead to more sedentary lifestyles, but it’s important to keep your kids active through sports or other activities. Maybe that means skiing or sledding, or maybe it means a trip to the indoor track or pool at UW-Platteville’s Pioneer Activity Center, but no matter what you do, it can be fun for the whole family!

5. Bathroom Breaks
This is especially important for the littlest scholars, as they may not feel as comfortable asking to use the bathroom during school hours. ‘Holding it in’ is associated with developing urinary tract infections.  Be sure to talk to your child about using the bathroom at school and how to best communicate to their teacher that they need a bathroom break.  This might be something to discuss with their teacher, so that you can best prepare them!  You can also use this as an opportunity to talk about proper hand washing and preventing the spreading of germs.

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