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Back to school: Keep your kids healthy during term time

Now that the kids have gone back to school, are they falling sick more often? Unfortunately, interesting facts and social skills are not the only things children pick up in the classroom. With so many youths in close quarters, schools are also a thriving environment for the spread of germs and infections. But don’t worry. You can help keep your child’s number of sick days down with a few simple steps. Follow our lifestyle tips to help keep your child healthy at school.

7 Back to school health tips for your children

Don’t skip breakfast

We know, the morning school run can leave even the calmest parent in a flap. But amongst all the hustle and bustle, always make sure you include a wholesome breakfast in your back to school routine. After all, they don’t call this the most important meal of the day for nothing. Not only does eating within the first two hours of waking up kick-start your metabolism, but it boosts your energy levels, memory, and concentration. Starting your child’s day with a balanced meal will help them maintain their physical and mental activity throughout the school day.

Remind your kids to wash their hands

During the holidays you’re always on hand to remind your kids to wash up before meals or after using the bathroom, but when they go back to school, they have to remember for themselves. From a young age, it’s a good idea to teach your children the importance of washing their hands frequently. At school, where germs spread like wildfire, this will help minimise the passing of infections.

Handy tip: Not all bacteria are harmful. Some microbes are there to help keep us healthy. To avoid killing off the good bacteria, skip the heavy-duty antibacterial soaps and stick to ordinary soap and water.

Teach your children healthy habits

Not only is it polite to cover your face when you cough or sneeze, but this also helps prevent diseases from spreading. Get your children into the habit of coughing or sneezing into a tissue or the crook of their arm. If they use their hands, there’s more chance of the germs spreading to the surfaces they touch. You should also teach them to keep their hands away from their eyes, nose, and mouth, as these are all prime entry points for germs.

Sharing isn’t always caring

While it’s important to teach your child the value of sharing, there are some things they should keep to themselves. Cups, utensils and personal items like water bottles, earbuds and lip balms should not pass between children to minimise the spread of infections. It’s also wise for kids to keep hats and hairbrushes to themselves to help prevent the circulation of head lice – an all too common problem when children go back to school.

Snack smart

There’s a reason a nutritious diet is good for your health. Natural, unrefined foods rich in vitamins and antioxidants are vital for building a strong immune system (read our immune boosting blog for a few superfood examples). Ensuring your children eat balanced meals will help them fight off infections and maintain their health. Fill their lunchboxes with fruits and veggies, and don’t forget to include a lean protein, complex carb and a bottle of water. Processed foods and sugars will compromise your child’s immune system, so be sure to keep the junk food to a minimum.

Know when to keep your child at home

We know – all kids have tried to pull the sick card at least once in their lives. But if your little one has picked up a bug, especially if they are running a fever, it is better to keep them at home for the day. Sending them to school will risk passing the infection to their classmates. Kids also have a higher chance of catching a secondary infection when they have a weakened immune system. A day in bed before going back to school will help their bodies rest and build up strength.

Set a bedtime schedule

The younger your child is, the more sleep they need. While strict bedtimes may slacken during the holiday period, it’s good to get your kids back into a set sleep routine when they go back to school. A good night’s rest is vital to your child’s health (and yours). Their bodies and immune systems need this time to recharge, rebuild and repair. Not only will they feel more energetic in the mornings, but they will be more mentally prepared to tackle the day.

With these tips, keeping your kids healthy when they go back to school should be a breeze. But, as much as you try, you can’t always prevent your children from getting sick. What you can do, with the help of Elixi Medical Insurance, is make sure they have access to a Network GP whenever they need. Compare our plans and request a callback today. We’ll help you pick the right plan for you and your family.