While this upcoming school year may still look different than the pre-COVID years, most students are resuming in-person classes and activities. And just like every year, the risk of getting sick will increase with all the commingling, and we’re not just talking about COVID. Many kids of all ages come down with strep throat, influenza, the common cold, stomach bugs, and plenty more. It’s always a great idea to take a few steps to stay as healthy as possible, so you and your family can enjoy your activities as usual.
If you are a parent of a kid going back to school this year, here are a few tips to help them avoid getting sick:
- Teach good hygiene
It’s never too early to teach your kids about hygiene, especially washing hands. Make sure they wash long enough—the length of time to sing the entire Happy Birthday song, or recite the alphabet—and get in between their fingers and under their nails. Also teach them to use tissues, or to sneeze/cough into the crook of their arms.
- Make masking fun
For many school districts, students will be required to wear a face mask in the building, so it’s always smart to help your child make a positive association with these masks. Make sure the mask fits them comfortably, stays on easily, and doesn’t rub their ears too much. Choose fun colors and patterns, or get masks to match their outfits.
- Provide healthy meals
To keep their immune system strong and improve their ability to focus and be active, feeding your kids healthy food is key. Emphasize fresh fruits and veggies, whole grains, clean proteins, and reduce sugar and processed foods. Send your child with a water bottle every day too, to encourage hydration.
- Practice calm exercises
Kids these days tend to feel more stress than generations before, and the need for calming, mindful tools has never been greater. Take time to teach your child a few easy ways to calm down, like counting breaths, an easy yoga pose or two, naming what they’re thankful for/favorite things, or squeezing a stress ball/stuffed animal.
- Know when to seek care
Even when we’re careful, our kids will get sick sometimes, and that’s okay. Know when to keep them out of school, and when to take them to your local Oakbrook urgent care clinic. Even if you don’t suspect COVID, it’s still a good idea to keep them at home to prevent the spread of illness. Make sure you know the phone number and location of your nearest urgent care too, just in case.
With the right preparation, you can give your children the best chance at staying healthy this coming school year. And when you need fast, reliable medical care, call or visit us at DuPage Immediate Care.