Healthy habits for going back to school

WELD COUNTY, CO – Weld County Department of Public Health and Environment offers health tips to students who will be heading back to school after summer vacation to keep them healthy.

 

School supplies: check.  New backpack: check.  Haircut: check.  But what about healthy habits?  While students think about back-to-school shopping, new teachers, and homework, parents should be thinking about supplementing their child’s education by teaching them some healthy habits.  Encouraging healthy habits will help students stay healthier not only this school year but for the rest of their lives.  During this busy time of year, the Weld County Department of Public Health and Environment encourages you to include the following on your back-to-school list:

 

Immunizations

  • Check immunization records to confirm recommended vaccinations are up-to-date, including DTap/Tdap which prevents 3 diseases with one shot—Diphtheria, Tetanus and Pertussis.
  • Schedule appointment for vaccinations, if needed.
  • Get immunized against seasonal flu in early fall.

 

Prevent Illness

  • Wash hands often, especially before eating, after using the bathroom and after blowing nose, sneezing or coughing.
  • Do not eat or drink after others; do not drink from the same bottle, can or glass.
  • Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Cover cough or sneeze with tissue or inside of elbow—not your hands.
  • Contact healthcare provider if child has a prolonged cough, lasting more than 1 week.
  • Keep child home if they have fever, persistent cough, diarrhea, vomiting or additional signs of illness to prevent others from becoming ill.

 

Healthy Eating

  • Start each day with a healthy breakfast.
  • Drink plenty of water.
  • Avoid foods and drinks high in sugar, such as candy and soda.
  • Choose a variety of foods—fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy products, fiber rich whole-grains, lean meats.

 

 

Physical Activity

  • Accumulate at least 60 minutes of physical activity every day.
  • Participate in physical activity daily to promote lifetime fitness.
  • Make exercise a family affair.
  • Limit screen time to no more than 1 to 2 hours per day—includes television, movies, video games and computer.

 

Injury Prevention

  • Always wear seat belt and keep your child in the back seat at least through age 13.
  • Ensure child is in age-appropriate child safety seat that is properly installed. Children ages 4-8 (through their 8th birthday) must use either a car seat or booster.
  • Wear a properly fitted bicycle helmet.
  • Avoid back pain associated with backpacks—place heaviest items closest to body and use both shoulder straps.
  • Talk to your child about bullying and encourage them to tell an adult if it happens.

 

Sleep

  • Establish a regular bedtime.
  • Get plenty of sleep each night—8-13 hours per night depending on age.

 

Checking off the items on this back-to-school list will help ensure a healthier 2012-2013 school year!

 

Additional information about healthy habits can be found on the Weld County Department of Public Health and Environment website at www.weldhealth.org or by visiting www.cdc.gov.

 

 

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