August signals the end of summer and the beginning of a new school year for most children, but getting your kids prepared for school involves more than finding the perfect backpack, buying school supplies, and shopping for new clothes. As travel nurses and allied professionals, you understand this is also the time to safeguard their health, so they will be physically ready for the challenges of heading back to school. Consider these tips for a healthy start for sending your kids back to school.
Schedule a Check-Up:
Before heading back to school, schedule an annual physical exam to ensure your child is healthy and virus-free before going back to class. A physical may be required for those students who want to participate in school sports such as football. Some states require a vision and hearing exam for students entering kindergarten. A physical is also a great time to update any prescriptions and have any required medical forms signed by your child’s doctor
Don’t Forget the Shots:
It is important to make sure your child’s immunizations are up to date. According to the CDC, every state requires certain vaccinations for children attending public and often private school based on grade level. Some schools will not allow students to attend without verification of these immunizations, so make sure you know the requirements your child’s school before sending them back. Flu vaccines are also recommended for all school-age children, unless the child has an allergy to the vaccine or a health problem that will cause complications from the vaccine.
Getting your kids back into a routine prior to school starting will help with ease the transition. At least a week before classes start, shift your kids from summer carefree sleep hours to bedtime schedules more in line with the school year. This is also the time for them to cut back on playing computer games and watching television by encouraging reading or playing quiet games.
Power Up with Good Nutrition:
Childhood obesity continues to rise leading to greater health risks to those affected. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), you can help stop this trend by providing healthy meal options for your kids starting with breakfast. Studies who that students who eat breakfast are more alert during class than those who do not. Plus, the right foods combined with adequate rest will help their bodies fight off infections.
Be Aware of Allergens:
Since a new school year coincides with a new allergy season, children who suffer from allergies can be affected by dust mites, mold, and other allergens that may flourish in the classroom. These allergens can cause a range of symptoms from a runny nose, sneezing, coughing, and watery eyes to more several issues such as asthma and sinus infections. In addition, eating in the cafeteria can present several problems for those suffering with food allergies. Discuss any allergy concerns with your child’s school nurse as soon as possible at the start of the school year.
Wash Hands & Sing a Song:
According to Mayo Clinic, hand washing is the most effective way to avoid spreading or catching germs. However, sometimes it can be difficult to encourage children to not only wash their hands, but to make sure they have spent enough time doing it. As a healthy tip, ask your kids to sing a song such as the alphabet song or happy birthday from start to finish as they wash their hands. Simple soap and water are best, but hand sanitizers will do when soap and water aren’t available.
Sending your child off to school can be a challenging transition but using these tips can help ensure their health & safety throughout the school year. Once you have safely sent your kids back to school, contact MedPro Staffing to arrange for your next travel assignment.