Summer vacation is almost over and the signs of back to school are everywhere, especially on TV and in stores. For many students, the first day of the new school year has already started. Who remembers when you started after labor day? As we prepare for a new school year, a common concern for many parents and caregivers is how to keep their child healthy and safe while away from their care.
You want them to be safe from bullies, injuries, not catch illnesses at school, and to help keep them safe as they travel to and from school, but all of that can lead to some stress and frustration for parents. It doesn’t have to, though! Follow these simple tips for a healthy school year.
5 Tips for a Healthy School Year
Eat Breakfast and Pack Better Lunches
Breakfast really is the most important meal of the day, so never skip it! When you make breakfast or pack a school lunch, be sure you are serving your children at least one grain, one protein, one dairy, and one fruit or vegetable for each meal. This will ensure they are getting proper nutrition.
Use and Pack Sunscreen
It doesn’t matter what your child’s complexion may be or their exposure to the sun, they do need to wear sunscreen. Apply it each morning before they leave for school, and send some with them to reapply at lunchtime. This is a very simple way to save your child from skin cancer.
Keep Kids Active
It may seem hard to get kids up and going, but is it really? Kids are full of energy, and most times the person holding them back from being active is a parent that is lazy. Is that you? Make chores fun and use them as a way to get active. Take a walk as a family. Go to the park together. Do something, but don’t plop on the couch and call it a day when you get home.
Pack Backpacks the Right Way
If your child’s backpack is too heavy, see about leaving some books or supplies at school when they are not in use, or getting a copy to keep at home so your child doesn’t have to lug them back and forth. Pack the bag properly, and if items don’t fit, don’t force them. This is a sign your child has too many items in the bag. Too much stuff can cause physical harm to your child, especially to their hips and spine.
Teach Kids About Strangers
It doesn’t matter if your child is six or sixteen – have the talk about the dangers of talking to strangers (but don’t make it seem like all strangers are bad). Discuss suspicious behavior and other safety tips you need and want them to know to keep them safe throughout the school year. It could be the difference between a safe child and a child that is in danger.