While schools are a great place for your child to learn about various subjects that will help prepare him or her for a bright educational future, they are also a great place for kids to catch illnesses, get minor personal injuries, and otherwise create certain unhealthy habits. Luckily, there are things you can do as a parent to help your child have a successful school year both academically and with their health. To show you how, here are three ways you can prepare your kids for a healthy and happy year of school.
Teach Your Kid the Right Way to Wash Their Hands
At home, you have the ability to remind your children of when they need to wash their hands. Before a meal, after they’ve played with animals, or when they’ve touched something dirty all require hands to be washed in order to keep clean. But when your kids are at school, you can’t be there to make sure they’re keeping their hands clean of germs and bacteria. For this reason, it’s vital that you teach your children the right way to wash their hands so they can do it properly when they’re on their own.
KidsHealth.org recommends teaching kids to use warm water and soap when washing their hands. They should also be scrubbing in between their fingers, under their fingernails, and on their wrists to make sure they’re cleaning their entire hands. This usually takes about as long as it takes to sing the ABCs, which is a good way to make sure they’re taking the time necessary to get off those germs. Consider making these ideas part of your teaching strategy for washing your kids’ hands.
Discourage Sharing of Certain Items
Although sharing is a good thing to teach your kids, there are certain things that just shouldn’t be shared if you want your child to remain healthy. The Mayo Clinic states that items like water bottles and other drinks, personal food, and clothing like hats should be discouraged from being shared. When water bottles or other drinks or eating utensils are shared, a massive amount of germs are shared as well. Sharing food could flare up an allergy, and wearing someone else’s hat could spread bugs like lice. To keep your own children healthy, remind them not to share these types of items with friends.
Getting the Rest They Need
While children may seem to have a never-ending amount of energy, they actually need to get a lot more sleep than some parents realize. Especially when having to wake up early for school, your child’s bedtime should be early enough that he or she is able to get between 10 and 11 hours of sleep per night, according to Elizabeth Austin of Parenting.com. Before the school year starts, begin gradually setting bedtime earlier and waking up earlier to help your child prepare for the schedule change that the school year brings.
Keeping your children healthy while going to school will make your life at home a whole lot easier. Use the tips mentioned above to have healthy, happy kids all year long.