Managing your child’s healthcare in this pandemic
School serves as a foundation for many things, but getting sick should not be one of them. In our new heightened awareness to germs due to Covid-19, it is a good time to reinforce essential health practices. This can lead to a positive outcome not only at school, but at home.
You can start by teaching proper handwashing to your child. Washing our hands properly is one of the most simple and important ways to prevent spreading illness, especially in the classroom. Remind your child that any germs they come in contact with, for example after rubbing their eyes or scratching their nose, can easily be spread to other kids and their families. Explain they can prevent themselves, and others, from getting sick by washing their hands after they blow their nose, use the bathroom, and before eating.
Keeping your child’s immune system strong is another way to stay healthy and prevent illness during the school year. Your child’s immune system can be boosted in many ways, including getting enough sleep, a healthy diet, managed stress, exercising, and having time to relax. However, even with preventative measures, most kids will get between 6-8 colds a year as their immune systems develop. While the most effective way to prevent disease is through getting your child vaccinated, supplements like Vitamin C and elderberry have shown a growth in interest due to their benefits on the immune system. Make sure you consult with your child’s doctor before you give them any supplements, in case they are not suitable for your child.
Healthy habits are also important to reinforce in your child. Teaching your child to refrain from touching their faces, especially their eyes, sharing cups and utensils, and using a tissue instead of a sleeve can be very beneficial in preventing the spread of germs. With the new school rules, it is also important to teach your child to not share masks or play with them as it could lead to heightened transmission. Remind your child the importance of them letting you know when they do not feel well.
Lastly, sleep is an important part of hygiene. Getting enough sleep is a crucial part of staying healthy for kids. Missing sleep can impact kids in numerous ways, including poor concentration, obesity, depression, and injuries. Sleep is necessary to not only do well in school, but for your child’s physical and emotional health.