Perspectives

Keeping Kids Healthy During the School Year

by Beth Vought

Sometimes it seems like school is a place of picking up germs and illness as much as it is a place of learning.  Read on for tips on training your kids to avoid those germs. (or at least get rid of them quickly).

  1. Proper hand washing. Anti-bacterial soap not needed. Regular soap used the right way is just as good or better than anti-bacterial soap. Teach your children to wet their hands and soap up, rubbing hands together fronts and backs, between fingers-right to the fingernails- to get the whole area clean and free of germs. 15 – 20 seconds is critical. Singing the Birthday song through twice while lathering is enough time.
  2. Remind kids not to touch their faces. Especially eyes, nose or mouth and always wash their hands before eating or after going to the bathroom. Germs on their hands only need an entry point to get into their body to start wreaking havoc.
  3. Show and teach them how to cough or sneeze. Unless they have a tissue in hand for catching that sneeze or cough, show them how to use their inner elbow for either purpose. It is much better for a child to sneeze into their sleeve than into their bare hand which goes on to touch everything around them, especially in school.
  4. Be sure they get enough sleep. School age kids need between 9-11 hours every night. Be sure they head to bed early enough to get the needed hours before they must get up to get ready for the next day. Some kids are not morning people, so if your child needs time to ‘become human’ before moving into their daily routine-schedule that time they need. Sleep time is not only for health, that is also the time they grow and develop. With today’s busy schedules it is a challenge, but very important to see that they get enough shut eye.
  5. Proper diet will give them the basic building blocks their growing bodies need. Growing strong in body and brain is the goal. If you show them the best ways to get what they need, they will be set for years to come. Making good choices as adults is even easier and more automatic.
  6. Remind children not to share drinks or eating utensils with friends. Yes, you worked to teach them to share their toys, but sharing ends there. Too many germs are passed between kids that share in the lunchroom. Even water bottles need to be individual.
  7. Do you know kids have stress? Homework, tests, and social pressures are examples. Anxiety is another concern. Watch for these showing up in your child’s life. They have as negative an effect on them as they do on adults. Help your kids to manage their stressors.
  8. Start with a healthy breakfast. Yes you’ve heard it for years, but it is still true. A good breakfast starts the day out right. Teach your kids when they’re young and the benefits keep growing as they age.
  9. Keep current with immunizations. Controversial, I know, but studies show kids who are vaccinated have better odds of maintaining their health than those without.

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As a longtime school secretary for Port Huron Schools, Beth Vought is no stranger to writing. Now retired, she’s excited to start this new creative writing endeavor. She has lived in the Blue Water area her entire life and has over thirty years’ experience sewing, crafting, along with other handy work. Beth has three grown children, two current fur babies and been married 35+ years. No grandchildren yet, but she did help deliver a litter of five puppies where she says, “Once was enough!”

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Disclaimer: Blue Water Healthy Living is an online magazine located in Port Huron, Michigan. Our purpose is to promote healthy living by showcasing the Blue Water Area, its people, issues and surroundings. This online magazine is devoted to providing healthy living related stories, local happenings, and commentary. Often inspiring and uplifting, our stories come from our heart and soul to promote the enjoyment of a more fulfilling Blue Water Area lifestyle. The material on this web site is provided for informational and amusement purposes only and is not to be confused with any medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. The views and opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect the opinions and values of Blue Water Healthy Living.

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