Normally, August brings the excitement of “back to school” with kids eager to reunite with friends, meet new teachers, and shop for school supplies. Yet this year is anything but normal.
The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way our children will return to learn this fall. School administrators and nurses have spent countless hours preparing the school environment and developing new protocols, prioritizing the health and safety of students and staff. Parents can reinforce these measures at home by role-modeling behaviors such as frequent hand washing, wearing masks in public, and avoiding large gatherings and crowds.
Regardless of our focus on COVID-19 prevention, keeping kids healthy and ready to learn is essential and important. Get your children off to a good start with these five key health tips:
Fix their routine
The greatest disadvantage of staying home, all the time, is an upside-down schedule. No fixed time for sleeping and eating. No getting up early for school. No dressing up for meetings. You can sleep anytime, eat anytime. If this is the case with your child too, then keep the “mission rectify schedule” on the top.
Adjust your kid’s timetable as it was during the school days. Make sure he/she is getting to bed on time, waking up early, eating on time, etc. A sudden change would be difficult for them. So, start from now so that they can adjust with an early morning routine before the schools reopen.
Guidelines based on age are:
- Preschool: 10-13 hours
- Elementary: 9-11 hours
- Teenagers: 8-10 hours
Make sure to see a doctor
If you haven’t done so already, your child may need a check-up with the doctor and dentist. It may also be time for an eye exam as good vision is essential for learning. Are immunizations up-to-date? Iowa law requires vaccine boosters prior to kindergarten, 7th grade and 12th grade. Shots aren’t fun, but are important to the health of your child and other students. A healthy child is ready to learn!
Make them eat healthy
A healthy and well-balanced diet fuels our body to work healthily. It is not only good for physical well-being but also for mental health. Therefore, it is necessary for your child to eat right!
Healthy food keeps the brain active which is essential for effective learning. Moreover, it strengthens immunity so that your kid can fight germs and diseases on their own. A well-balanced diet includes foods that fulfill your daily nutrient requirements. We suggest you see a nutritionist and get a diet-plan designed for your kids.
Prepare your kids for the changes
Parents normally haven’t discussed the pandemic a lot, with their children. However, there are chances that your child may have heard something false from the news. Therefore, it is good to clarify their concepts. Be honest and tell your child everything you know. Interrogate and correct them if they’re wrong at any point.
As the pandemic isn’t over completely, the government and the healthcare community urge to open schools with strict observation of SOPs. As your child will be going out, tell him about all the necessary precautions he has to take. Tell him/her that school won’t be the same; they’ve to maintain a distance, wash hands regularly, wear a mask, etc.
Model good habits
Don’t restrict your efforts to conversations only. Help your child model good habits practically. Tell them the ways to maintain personal hygiene and observe if they are doing it right. Make sure they cover coughs and sneezes. Make them wear masks at home so that they won’t feel awkward to wear it to school. Ask them to wash their hands again and again so that they develop it as a habit.
Remember that returning to school this year may not feel like normal – at least for a while, but having proper health and safety plans in place and helping our schools provide the resources needed to follow them can assist in protecting students, teachers, staff, and families in our community.