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Tips to Stay Healthy at School

The lazy days of summer of are over as kids are trading in their swim suits and flip flops for uniforms and sneakers as they get ready for a new school year. Heading back to school can also mean being exposed to more germs and fighting illnesses. It can be a challenge to keep our kids well, but here are a few tips on how to keep kids healthy during the school year.

1. Wash your hands – Hand washing is the number one rule to cut down on colds and illnesses. Encourage kids to wash their hands regularly to prevent the spread of germs.

2. Good sleep habits – Sleep is important for kids of all ages. Success at school requires kids to control impulses, manage emotions and behavior to keep on track. All of these skills depend heavily on healthy, consistent sleep.

3. Breakfast – While overall good nutrition is important to maintain a strong immune system. A good breakfast fuels you up and gets you ready for the day.  In general, kids and teens that eat breakfast have more energy, do better in school, and eat healthier throughout the day.  Without breakfast, people can get irritable, restless, and tired.

4. Exercise – Getting plenty of exercise helps kid’s bodies and mind stay healthy. Encourage active play outside of school and establish an exercise routine.

Keeping all of these tips in mind during the school will keep kids healthier; however, no matter how much we try kids are bound to get a cold during the school year. Karen Hills, RN, BSN, a school nurse with Phoebe’s Network of Trust, says if your child is sick it is important to keep them home.

“We know it can be difficult for parents to keep kids home when they are sick, especially for those who work outside of the home, but keeping those kids home is important for the health and safety of all kids at school.” Karen also suggests creating an action plan in advance for those instances when your child does wake up with a cold.

When it is important to keep your kids at home?

  • Fever over 100.4 (must be FEVER FREE for 24 hours before returning to school)
  • Vomiting more than once
  • Diarrhea
  • Frequent cough
  • Persistent pain
  • Widespread rash
  • Head lice until treated
  • Chickenpox
  • Bacterial pink eye

Phoebe’s Network of Trust provides school nurse program serves more than 17,000 children, school faculty and staff to provide educational programs, assessments, prevention, and referral services. School nurses provide basic nursing care, medication administration, health and disease monitoring, education and many other services. The nurses serve as the main health resource for both the teachers and students in our schools.