As summer vacation comes to an end, families have started planning for their children to go back to school. For many, this will be an exciting time, while others may feel a little anxious about new friends or teachers. No matter how you and your children feel about the first day of school, it is important to keep in mind your child’s health and safety as they head back into the classroom.
Most states require that your child’s immunizations are up to date prior to entering school to protect against infection. Studies have shown repeatedly that children who eat a healthy, balanced breakfast every morning and continue to have nutritious meals throughout the day, achieve higher test scores. These students also have better behavior, and are less hyperactive. In conjunction with healthy food, one of the best and simplest ways to help boost a child’s immune system and improve their overall academic achievement is to make sure they are getting an adequate amount of sleep each night. Depending on their age, a child requires at least 8-12 hours of sleep per night in order to stay focused at school each day.
Additionally, a backpack should never weigh more than 10-20 percent of a child’s body weight. Ensuring that a child has an appropriate backpack with the correct strapping is a must. Backpacks with wheels can also be used to protect a child’s body from the stress of carrying a heavy load.
With the extreme heat of the summer still upon us, student athletes and their coaches should take great care to pay attention to the signs of heat related illness. When exercising in the heat, it is important to drink at least 16-32 ounces of water every hour to replace lost fluids. Heat related illness can be fatal, and many times the body is already in danger by the time symptoms are present. Knowing your limits and staying hydrated are the best bet to prevent any sort of heat related illness from occurring.
Teachers would be wise to take the same advice given to students. They set an example every day in their classrooms and, as role models, teachers should exemplify good decision making, especially in regards to safety and health. Ensuring that students are washing their hands, eating nutritious food, and staying hydrated are just a few ways teachers can lead by example.
Taking these tips and advice seriously should help guarantee a safe and healthy school year for students and teachers alike.
http://www.healthychildren.org/English/news/pages/Back-to-School-Tips.aspx http://nutrition.about.com/od/nutritionforchildren/a/dietandlearning.htm http://abcnews.go.com/Health/video/healthy-lessons-back-school-nutrition-14357311 http://abcnews.go.com/Health/video/healthy-lessons-back-school-sleep-14365353 http://www.rd.com/family/back-to-school-safety-tips/ http://www.lanl.gov/orgs/pa/newsbulletin/2003/07/14/Safety_tip_hydration.html