The kids are back to school, and while parents are adjusting to new schedules, homework demands, and more, they also need to ensure their children stay as healthy as possible, despite being exposed to classmates’ sniffling, sneezing, and germ-sharing habits.
Here are 5 tips to keep kids healthy and happy as the school year begins:
- Bank those sleep hours –Late night TV watching, video gaming and texting disrupt sleep patterns, so set limits on computer and smartphone use, and reinforce reasonable bedtimes in the first weeks of school. Not only are good sleep habits part of a healthy lifestyle, some studies show that even one less hour of sleep a night can hurt a child’s ability to learn. Sandra Bond Chapman, Ph.D., Chief Director of the Center for Brain Health at the University of Texas notes that our brain needs approximately 8 hours to rest and consolidate learning of new information.
- Quickly treat aches and pains – Children, like adults, can overdo it: not getting enough rest or eating a healthy diet, especially during the first hectic weeks of school. That leaves them more susceptible to a range of ailments, including scratchy throats. Keep an eye on signs of a cold and act quickly before they progress. For a sore, scratchy throat, parents should choose over-the-counter medicines made for children, not adults, like all-natural Nature’s Jeannie™ Throat Care Spray for Kids, that not only soothes and coats irritated throats, but reduces bacteria significantly, loosens mucus, decreases inflammation and helps restore the throat’s natural pH balance. The spray also minimizes the risk of overmedicating: a new study found that 1 in 5 parents give their child overdoses of common medicines, due to confusing instructions and dosage information.
- Reinforce healthy eating habits – It’s hard to get kids to eat healthy when fries, pizza and other fast food are on the school menu. Parents might consider making sure that at least a healthy breakfast starts the day, and here is good reason why. Scientists from the University of Alberta-Canada, in a study of more than 4,500 fifth-graders, found that children who ate more whole fruits and vegetables, and consumed fewer calories from fat performed better in school. “This study demonstrates the independent importance of overall diet quality to academic performance,” concluded lead author Dr. Paul J. Veugelers and colleagues.
- Reinforce smart hygiene habits – How do kids contract germs in and out of the classroom? Not washing their hands! Kids frequently touch their eyes, nose, and mouth without even realizing it. Germs can get into the body through the eyes, nose and mouth and make them sick. Empower your child with their own sanitizer keychain (fun, yet functional), remind them about the importance of washing their hands and explain how germs spread.
- Encourage physical activity over digital activity – Although the school year does incorporate some play time or recess, not all schools put the same emphasis on the importance of physical activity. Especially in this highly digital age of iPads, smart phones, digital games, apps, media galore – go out of your way to carve some time for physical fitness. Consider a walk with the family after dinner, or a marathon jump rope contest. Researchers have found that regular aerobic exercise (three times a week for 50 minutes) improves memory function, so exercise is a good way to engage in quality time with your child and build their mental muscle.
Parents can start the school year off right with a child who is rested, healthy, eating well, feeling positive and focused on being healthy – it provides the best opportunity for an enjoyable school year for both you and your student!
About the author:
Nature’s Jeannie™ was born out of frustration: plagued by painful sore throats, Juliet Boghossian concocted a throat gargle she could rely on to relieve and remedy her sore throat quickly and naturally, and eventually teamed with her husband, Michael Tatosian, to further develop the product that became Gargle Away® Advanced Throat Care. Combining ancient wisdom with modern science, Gargle Away’s proprietary blend of all-natural germ fighting, pain relieving and highly soothing ingredients provides the most comprehensive and effective throat care without a prescription.