Whether your student has already returned to the classroom or doesn’t have to go back for a few more days, the beginning of the school year can be a stressful time. You’ve got to get supplies in order, make sure lunches are packed and adjust to new, busier schedules.
While it’s not cold and flu season yet, making an adjustment to new schedules can take a toll on a body. That’s why it’s important to keep everyone in your home as healthy as possible.
Use these tips to keep your household healthy throughout the entire school year.
Begin and Maintain a Sleep Schedule
Your child has probably become used to playing outside or staying up late into the night during summer break, which can make getting up earlier difficult. If he or she hasn’t gone back to school yet, try gradually setting an earlier bedtime and an earlier wake time for a few days until you’ve established the time frame your child will need to get enough rest and be at school on time.
If your child has already gone back to school, you can still try the tips above to get him or her on track for a better night’s rest. Here are some additional tips for your sleepy student:
- While it may seem tempting to use the weekend to sleep in and catch up on missed snoozing, don’t. Try to keep the same bed and wake times, if you can. (This advice can also be helpful for tired adults.)
- If you put your child to bed, try to establish a relaxing bedtime routine like a bath, story, and song. Or, if your child is older, try limiting the use of electronics before bed. And remember to avoid caffeinated beverages at least six hours before bed.
Practice Good Hand Hygiene
Classrooms can be germy places, which makes hand washing a critical step to keep everyone healthy. Proper hand washing can help halt the spread of viruses, bacteria and illnesses, as can keeping your hands away from your nose and mouth. Always wash your hands:
- After using the bathroom, blowing your nose, touching trash, animals or food.
- For 20 seconds with soap and water
- If water isn’t available, use alcohol-based hand sanitizer
Start Your Day with Healthful Choices
Your diet also plays an important role in keeping you healthy, and providing you and your family with a healthy breakfast is a solid way to begin the day. It may seem nearly impossible to have a healthy breakfast on hand when juggling everyone’s busy schedules, but it can be done. Try these ideas:
- Greek yogurt and fruit
- Whole-grain cereal that has at least 3 grams of fiber
- Scrambled eggs and whole-grain toast
Use these tips to keep your student and family healthy all year long. Want more healthy school year tips? Download our free guide for more on healthy sleep patterns, medical care, vaccines and more.