Back to School in North Austin: Health Tips for your Child
Back to school brings a sense of new beginnings and fresh starts. The potential for children is high and you want to help foster their dreams, hopes and ambitions. They have so much going on that being healthy is usually not their top concern. But that is where you come in. You can help encourage healthy behaviors and habits long before you send them off to school and they will use throughout the year. These tips are not new or revolutionary, but they will help your child stay healthy, which will lessen their sick days away from school.
It’s all in the Hands: Keep Your Kids Safe with Clean Hands!
Using hand sanitizer can help to reduce the spread of germs. North Austin schools regularly offer hand sanitizer, but you have to get your kids to use it! That’s a whole new story. Hand sanitizers are alcohol-based so there is no need to go to a sink every time they touch something. it should be noted that while this is a great substitute, hand washing with soap is still the best way to kill germs for North Austin Family Health tips, but if that is not an option, this is a close second. Give them a small bottle of hand sanitizer to clip on or put into one of the pockets of their backpack. Make it easily accessible and get them scents that they enjoy. Show them how to properly use it by placing a small amount in your hands and rubbing your hands together until they are dry. Then make sure they know when to use it: before eating, after using a shared computer, the pencil sharpener, water fountain, and other community items.
Keep Them Germs to Yourself! Cover your Mouth in North Austin
Another oldie but goody is covering your mouth and nose when you sneeze or cough. This is no longer a concept of common courtesy; it is proven that many germs are spread through an open cough or sneeze. Put a small packet of tissues in your child’s backpack and make sure that he or she has them at all times. Even with a tissue, you should encourage using the vampire method of coughing and sneezing. This involves covering your mouth with the crook of your elbow instead of your hand.
Because your hands are constantly touching things, it is best to keep them as clean as possible by not directly coughing or sneezing into them. In fact, it is a good practice to not put your hands in your eyes or your mouth. Smaller children have an issue with this, but as they get older, they should know not to touch their face too much. It only takes one interaction with a germ on the hand to make a child sick, so explain that hands get dirty and should not be put into eyes or mouths.
Lastly, do not share water bottles, food or other personal items. One of the first lessons we learn in school is to share our toys, but this can also lead to sharing bacteria and viruses as well. Teenage girls are commonly found sharing makeup, hairbrushes, and clothes. All of these items carry germs with them. Elementary-aged school children tend to be more free with sharing their food and drinks, but this should be discouraged. Sharing toys in a classroom is one thing, but they need to understand that there are limits.
Starting your child out with good habits now will help them in the upcoming school year.
Website: North Austin Family Health