October is Children’s Health Month and the month of Child Health Day! Each year, we’re reminded of the importance of keeping our students healthy and active in places where they live, play, and learn. Child Health Day is a federal holiday that was first introduced to Congress in 1928 and celebrated for the first time in May 1929.
The purpose of these important annual celebrations is to get all organizations and agencies invested in children’s health to raise awareness about the importance of children’s welfare in our country. They encourage the focus and promotion of health and nutrition, physical activity, and healthy habits for children. In addition, the added stress of the COVID-19 pandemic during past school years makes it even more important that we acknowledge and focus on our health and the health of our students.
In the spirit of Children’s Health Month and in an effort to promote healthy habits, here are 10 tips from Healthy Kids Here on how to get and keep your student healthy for life!
- Make sure your student is up to date on ALL their immunizations.
- Vaccines are the best way to prevent the spread of illness in children and sets your student up for a lifetime of health.
- See your doctor today to make sure your child has their latest vaccines.
- If your child is ages 12+, they qualify for the COVID vaccine, which helps prevent serious illness and hospitalization from COVID-19, as well as protects other family members who aren’t currently able to get the vaccine.
- Practice good hygiene.
- When kids learn to take care of their bodies, making sure it’s clean and germ-free, they’re giving the body what it needs to stay healthy.
- Kids should: Wash their hands regularly, brush their teeth twice a day, and bathe or shower daily. These skills will help them stay healthy and focus on how good their bodies feel!
- Find time to rest and relax.
- The world is stressful and kids, even if they don’t know all the details, can feel and understand that.
- Help students feel relaxed by setting a routine for them and your family that includes time together and fun activities outdoors!
- Keep them moving!
- Children need at least 60 minutes of physical activity every day to keep their bodies healthy.
- Try having a Family Fit Night where everyone gets moving together or try out a YouTube exercise video.
- Eat the rainbow!
- To be healthy, kids need to eat a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables every day.
- By making sure their plates have different colored foods, you can make sure that students are getting all the vitamins and nutrients their growing bodies need.
- Drink more water, limit sugary drinks.
- Water makes up half our bodies, without it scholars can feel sluggish, unfocused, and distracted throughout the day. Adding sugars to water may make it taste better but doesn’t provide the same benefit as plain, no-sugar water.
- Help students keep on top of hydration by getting them a colorful refillable bottle to keep near them or add a couple of fresh fruit slices to water for a boost of healthy flavor.
- Make snacks healthy.
- Help support your scholars and keep them focus by having brain-boosting snacks ready at home and in their lunch boxes.
- Cut up fresh fruits, try some baked apple chips, or air-popped popcorn to keep them full and focused.
- Do things as a family.
- Spending quality time as a household can help alleviate stress and anxiety that students might be feeling right now.
- Try cooking a new recipe together, eating dinner as a household, or spending time doing a new hobby.
- Limit additional screen time.
- Students are spending more time than ever on screens (laptops, tablets, or smartphones), which can cause fatigue or strain on their eyes.
- Create screen-free zones at home like the kitchen or living room to allow your student time to relax and communicate their needs.
- Prioritize sleep.
- Sleep is an essential part of everyone’s routine and helps the body recharge after the events of the day. When students get enough sleep, they learn quicker, focus better, and have better memories.
- Help your child get the 9-12 hours of sleep they need by creating a calming bedtime routine, like taking a warm bath or reading before bed.
*Blog cover photo taken prior to COVID-19.