Getting ready to go back to school is about more than new clothes and school supplies. Here is a list of things to keep in mind so your kids are in optimal health this school year.
Shots: There are recommended shots for every age in every country. Make sure your child has had the shots necessary to protect them from serious viral and bacterial infections in China.
Backpack: The weight and shape of a backpack is important to prevent back and shoulder pain among kids. Find one that has two well padded shoulder straps. Make sure the packed backpack does not exceed ten percent of your child’s weight. Before buying one with wheels check that the school does not have stairs everywhere.
Make sure your child has had the shots necessary to protect them from serious viral and bacterial infections in China
Schedules: During the last weeks before school try gradually shifting back to regular sleeping hours as well as daily activities that resonate more with school, (for example reading and drawing), while reducing TV and movie time.
Regular health checkup: Many conditions that may impede their full participation in school may be picked up during checkups. During the preschool checkup sometimes parents find out that their children need glasses. Older children get checked for scoliosis, a spinal deviation that should be watched during their growth. The developmental milestones checklist helps us see how our children are doing compared to their peers in language, motor, and social skills.
Head lice: After summer sleepovers and trips make sure your child has not picked up lice from a friend. If you notice your child is scratching his head make sure you check them carefully. School is an easy place to catch and spread lice. During the school year make sure to check your child’s head regularly to stop the cycle.
Transportation safety: If your children will ride a bike to school, make sure they have a helmet and are careful in traffic.
Five-a-day: Fruits and vegetables will provide your child with the energy and nutrients needed to stay healthy and concentrate better during the new school year. Breakfast is a great opportunity to get the first fruit of the day. Pack healthy snacks to take to school, make sure there is fruit at home and include vegetables in dinner.
Clean hands: The best way to prevent the spread of respiratory infections is thorough hand washing. Teach your children to sing the Happy Birthday song while washing their palms, in between their fingers, and the backs of their hands. Encourage them to use hand sanitizer gel regularly, and when they sneeze or cough get them to cover their mouth with their elbow.
This article originally appeared on page 25 of the beijingkids August 2015 issue. Click here to read the issue for free on Issuu.com. To find out how you can get your own copy, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo: frankieleon (Flickr)