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How to Keep Your Kids Healthy for the School Year

Now that school is back in session your child is reconnecting with friends, in the midst of rigorous fall sports schedules, and starting to get back into swing of early mornings. They are also going to be exposed to many more germs. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, "Almost 22 million school days are missed due to the common cold." It's important to make sure that you're doing everything you can to keep them as healthy and happy as possible!

Here are some tools to help your child stay in top shape this school year:

Practice Makes Perfect: Healthy Daily Habits

Have you taught your child healthy habits to prevent colds, flu and other infections? Here are some starters to keep in mind:

-Refrain from touching your eyes/face area in general.

-Don't share drinks or utensils; that's right, even with your BFF!

-Teach them to sneeze or cough correctly by covering with a tissue or the inside of their elbow.

-Hand-washing is crucial, especially after using the bathroom, before eating, etc. Also, your child should be washing for a minimum of 30 seconds with soap and water.

-Keep hand-sanitizer in your backpack for easy access after you've used someone else's pencil, touched a desk someone was sitting at, played games in gym class using materials other students' have touched, etc.

Even though some these might seem like basic common sense, you'd be surprised how many kids aren't educated on this front.

Rest Up

Sleep is essential in ensuring your body and immune system are functioning effectively. Making sure your child is getting enough sleep is one of the necessary ingredients that will keep them on the healthy track. Here are some ways to ensure that necessary shut-eye:

--Doctors recommend school-age children get between 7-9 hours of sleep each night.

-Create a bedtime routine. Having a solid nighttime ritual will make the evenings more consistent, as well as efficient!

-Ditch technology at least one hour prior to bedtime. Limiting electronic stimulants helps children fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer.

-Keep the room comfortable; not too hot, not too cold, but, just like Goldilocks, make it just right!

-Watch out for foods and drinks that contain high amounts of caffeine and sugars, such as chocolate, iced tea, juice, sodas, ice cream etc.

Start the Day Strong

It's a well known fact that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Making sure that you actually eat it is the first step, but it's just as vital that it is well-balanced; composed of low-fat protein and complex carbs. Added bonus: this is shown to actually improve brain function (sweet!)

Find Ways to De-stress

Between piles of homework assignments, pop-quizzes, tough tests and various social pressures, it's safe to say that the school year brings an added level of stress. Studies show that anxiety can have a detrimental impact on a kids' health. One way to destress children is to help your child find an outlet to unleash daily strains such as sports, art, or music.

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