Back-To-School Health Tips for Parents.

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Happy New Month Everyone! It is the beginning of the “ember” months, signalling that the end of the year is approaching. So, if you’ve not gotten ahead on most of your 2017 goals, this is a reminder that you have just 4 months left; So get a move on.  Also, the start of the school year is approaching.   Schools resume this september. New classes for your kids,  new  learning experiences and the likes. In as much as we have to do back-to-school shopping and preparations, it is important to safeguard the health of your children too, even as they go back to school.  Below are some back-to-school health tips that can help your children.

Back-to-school tips for parents

 

  1. Focus on your Child’s nutrition – A huge percentage (about 40%)  of the total daily calories for 2-18 year old children are empty calories from added sugars and solid fats. This means that most of the food we give to children offer no nutritional benefits to the children. Please limit fizzy drinks given to children. Instead give milk. Milk is nutritious and can be taken as a drink. Also be careful when packing a lunch box for your child. Ensure there is an appropriate balance of grains, proteins, fruits, vegetables and dairy. Try to be a role model to your kids for healthy eating.
  2. know the health risks your school-aged children may face. These include:
  • Head lice : They can get lice from other children who do not take proper care of their hair especially during head-to head contact during playtime or sport activities.  So ensure your children wash their hair often, at least once in a week or two
  • scoliosis : This is an abnormal curvature of the spine, such that the backbone curves to the side. It usually shows up most often during growth spurts when kids are between 10 and 15 years. s a parent, watch for uneven shoulders or hips and make sure your child gets regular scoliosis check-ups. This can be done regularly in school as part of  a routine screening programme.
  • Poor vision :  A child’s ability to learn is sometimes linked to vision and hearing. A lot of children usually have visual defects like short or long-sightedness and this may affect their performance in school. Some clues to poor vision could be  squinting, tilting the head. So visual acuity tests could just  detect any visual problem and treat it early. Again this can be detected as part of a routine screening programme in schools.
  • Hearing defects: some children have hearing defects that can affect their ability to learn. They may have been hearing clearly before, but had an illness like measles that affected their hearing later. Again, a screening can detect this early and treat.
  • Bullying : A lot of children are being bullied in school and may be too afraid or ashamed  to speak out. As a parent, it is your responsibility to be observant of your child and notice if there is any change in behaviour. some clues could be depression or anxiety and self harm.

3. Make sleep a priority : Ensure child gets at least 8 hours of sleep everyday, more sleep is needed if the child is younger.  A toddler needs about 10 hours of sleep daily, so ensure your child gets enough sleep.

4. Be a Partner in your child’s education, health and wellness – you can talk to your to your your child”s teacher about his/her strengths and weaknesses, preferred learning style, likes and dislikes and any other issues that may affect them in school.

5. Refer Healthy-Pink initiative  to your child’s school for school health services.  we can monitor and screen your child’s

  • growth and development
  • vision
  • hearing
  • posture
  • other health indicators.

please check our school health service for more info on this.

 

 

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Back-To-School Healt…

by Dr. Anire Chima-Oduko
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