As gears are shifting with the start of school, it’s a great time to think about your family’s health. After a long summer break, it’s time for the kids to begin focusing on classes, sports and other after-school activities. To ensure everyone has a safe, healthy year, here are some back-to-school tips we recommend for the entire family:
- Get a flu shot – Many schools require certain vaccinations before children enroll; however, it’s always wise to consider getting the flu vaccine. The Centers for Disease Control recommends an annual flu vaccine for everyone 6 months of age and older. Visit your Doctors of Primary Care provider to get flu shots for your whole family. For other vaccinations, please visit your local health department.
- Set bedtimes – We have all heard the magic number 8 when it comes to how many hours to sleep each night. But do you know children and adolescents typically need more than that? Consider setting an earlier bedtime gradually leading up to the first day of school to prepare your kids, and stick to a routine on weekends, too.
- Ditch the junk foods – Send your kids off with healthy fruits, veggies, whole-grain bread and lean protein like turkey. To make breakfast and lunch easier on yourself, prep on the weekends and purchase plenty of containers for packing up dinner leftovers for easy next-day lunches.
- Teach good hygiene habits – To prevent sickness, it’s important to show children how to protect themselves from those lurking classroom germs. Some easy lessons: washing hands after using the restroom and before eating and not sharing food or drinks.
- Manage stress – Getting back into the school routine can be stressful for everyone. Keep stress under control to avoid health issues (i.e. insomnia and slow immune systems). Take time to talk to your children when they seem distracted, avoid overloading schedules, and set priorities.
One less thing to worry about this school year is your healthcare provider. From cuts and scrapes to any of life’s small emergencies, we offer the consistency of a family doctor relationship. For a full list of services Doctors of Internal Medicine offers for your family, please visit our website or give us a call at 972-758-4455.