Tips to Ensure Kids Get the Most Out of Their School Year
For most of us, life is getting back to normal, or at least a new normal, which means kids are heading back into the classroom for in-person learning. Children are exposed to thousands of germs everyday through the food they eat, the air they breathe, and the things they put in their mouths. Exposure to germs increases during the school year while kids are outside their normal environment for several hours a day. Helping your child stay healthy throughout the year will require extra precautions.
Below are four tips for back-to-school wellness that will keep your kids healthy, happy, attentive and at their best during the 2022-2023 school year.
Keep nutritional health top of mind. Staying physically and mentally healthy starts with the food we put in our bodies. Food high in protein, fiber, calcium and other crucial vitamins and minerals keep our bodies functioning properly and our immune systems strong. Starting your child's school day with a well0-balanced breakfast will help them stay focused and keep their energy levels high throughout the day. What they eat during the school day is key to their overall nutrition too. Looking into what your school serves for lunch will help you understand if they are getting a well-balanced, nutritious meal or if a packed lunch from home would be more beneficial.
Stay up to date on important vaccines. As kids head back to an in-person learning environment, it's important that parents follow the Recommended Childhood and Adolescent Immunization Schedule, which is developed by top disease experts and pediatricians. This immunization schedule is a critical component of keeping children healthy and protected from a serious illness. Before sending your child back to school, schedule an appointment with your family doctor to make sure they are up to date on all required vaccines.
Protect gut and immune health with probiotics. The beginning of any school year can cause stress on a child's immune system, but as many of our kids attended school through a virtual environment over the past two years, heading back into the classroom may be especially choking to their immune system. Keeping their digestive health and immune system strong with probiotics will help support overall gut health and can increase immunity to illness. While probiotics can be found naturally in many foods, introducing a kid-friendly probiotic with vitamin D3 can prevent the growth of harmful bacteria, help boost immune functions and increase resistance to infections.
Create balanced activity and sleep habits. As important as it is to get your child moving every day, it's equally as important to keep them on a regular sleep schedule. Bedtimes may have become more inconsistent during the summer months, and depending on your child's age, they need anywhere from 9 to 12 hours of sleep a night. Establishing daily habits for both activity and rest is critical to reducing stress and maintaining an overall healthy immune system and ensuring they are at peak performance during the school day.
These tips don't just apply to children - they are beneficial for everyone in your household as illnesses contracted at school can be spread to other members of your family. By following these preventative steps, you and your children will have a safer and healthier school year.
Justin Marsh is the Founder and CEO of Arthur Andrew Medical, headquartered in Scottsdale.
Courtesy of the Arizona Republic