Keeping kids healthy for back to school

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Even though summer feels like it’s still in full swing, it’s almost time to start thinking about going back to campus.

So how can you make sure your kids are healthy to head back to school?

Dr. Ruben Espinoza, a pediatrician with Banner Health Clinic in Mesa, give us some tips on keeping kids healthy/

Those tips include:

Make sure your child has a well-check prior to starting the school year. This can often include getting a note for their sports physical requirements.

·Hand washing-  Dr.Espinoza says this tip may seem simple but it is highly important.

·         Tuck antibacterial hand wipes into your child’s lunch box and backpack.

·         When they get home from school, ask them to wash their hands with soap and water.

·         Ask your child to change out of their school clothes when they get home.

·Lice Prevention- There is currently a lice epidemic, according to Dr. Espinoza.  This is always a big problem when the school year starts and there are some easy ways to try to prevent it. 

·         Lice love clean hair!  Over the counter items such as tea tree oil may repel them.

·         Pull your child’s hair back in a clip for school,

·         Soak combs, brushes, hair clips and headbands in hot water for ten minutes.

·         Tell your child to avoid borrowing or sharing a friends helmet, hat, brush or comb

·         Sharing towels can spread lice so have your child use their own towel

·Fever Tips- In healthy kids, fevers usually don't indicate anything serious. When it heads close to 102-degrees you will want to call your child’s pediatrician. Although it can be frightening when your child's temperature rises (under 102-degrees), fever itself causes no harm and can actually be a good thing — it's often the body's way of fighting infections. High fever, however, can make a child uncomfortable and worsen problems such as dehydration.

·Pink eye-  Viral and bacterial pinkeye are contagious and spread very easily. Since most pinkeye is caused by viruses for which there is usually no medical treatment, preventing its spread is important. Poor hand-washing is the main cause of the spread of pinkeye. Sharing an object, such as a washcloth or towel, with a person who has pinkeye can spread the infection.

·Nutrition- Good, nutritious meals an important part of preparing your child for learning in a classroom! Parents should use the new school year as an opportunity to rethink and re-energize their child's nutrition.  A healthy breakfast and lunch will provide your child with the fuel he/she needs to stay focused throughout the day.

·         Multiple studies demonstrate children who eat breakfast regularly are able to concentrate better, solve problems more easily and perform better on tests than kids who don't eat breakfast.

·         Your child's lunch contributes significantly to their overall nutrient and energy needs, so make the most out of it.  There are more healthy items available in the grocery store than ever before now such as healthier versions of chips and other snack foods. Most school lunch programs now provide options and allow kids to select three to five items from the menu.  Become familiar with the school lunch menu and talk to your child about making good choices.  When the main meal is less nutritious like a hamburger, pizza, or taco, encourage your child to also select fruits, vegetables and yogurt or milk.


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