Although your children don’t want to think about it, back-to-school season is upon us. In addition to new clothes, supplies and updated schedules, going back presents some familiar challenges that you can prepare for now.
Injuries From Sports & Activities
School sports are a great way for kids to learn about good sportsmanship, teamwork, and leadership. Unfortunately, it can also be a cause of sprains, concussions, and broken bones among other injuries. While we can’t make sports 100% safe from some injury, we can minimize the risk with some simple precautions. First, have your kids undergo a sports physical to your young competitors are ready for the physical demands of their chosen activity. It’s also important to make sure your kids have the right type of sport-specific safety equipment, that it fits properly and that they’re learning correct form and technique for all movements, especially those in contact sports. Make sure that you know and recognize the signs of a concussion and that you treat any head injury with care.
Colds, Flu & Other Illnesses
Hopefully, mass school closures and new epidemics are behind us but the traditional enemies of your child’s good health are always floating around. There’s the flu, the common cold, RSV and strep throat, which is a bacterial infection and many other inconvenient illnesses. While no longer mandated in most areas, masks can have an impact in lowering transmission of these illnesses. If your child is sick, keep them home and out of contact from other children. Also, make sure that immunizations are up to date.
Schools are the most common source of lice transmissions, especially among preschool and elementary school age children. Each year, up to 12 million cases of lice occur in children ages 3 to 12. Head lice are parasitic insects that feed on human blood and live along the scalp, causing itching and discomfort. Lice usually move from one person’s head to another through direct contact, though it is also possible for lice to spread through the sharing of hats, scarves, or towels. Children should avoid any head-to-head contact with others outside your household. It’s also a good idea not to share personal items, including hats, helmets, or brushes.
Regular sleep schedules tend to go out the window during summer vacation as kids may stay up later at night and wake up later in the morning. As any parent knows, it can be difficult to get back on schedule once school starts. However, it’s critical that a good night’s sleep be a central part of your child’s schedule. Lack of quality sleep can make kids more likely to get sick, lose focus at school and get injured during sports or other activities. The National Sleep Foundation recommends that school-age children get between nine and 11 hours of sleep each night.
Back to school means tight schedules become tighter and morning routines become crazier. That doesn’t help with the planning of healthy meals for growing bodies. Make sure that your household has plenty of healthy snack and meal options including fruit and vegetables and other alternatives to chips, sweets, and other kid favorites. Good nutrition is an important foundation of overall health.
Believe it or not, bullying can be a serious issue to your child’s physical, mental and emotional health. Children and teens who are bullied are at a higher risk of developing anxiety and depression, academic problems, and substance abuse later in life. While a serious issue, it’s often difficult to know how to handle bullying. You can start by familiarizing yourself with the common signs of bullying. These can include sudden behavioral changes, trouble sleeping, nightmares, avoiding activities or socializing, lost or destroyed belongings, headaches, stomachaches and unexplained injuries. If you believe your child is being bullied, talk with a counselor and his or her pediatrician. They can be great resources to help you determine your course of action.
We’ve been hearing more and more about the impact on the mental health of our children from remote learning. This will take time to undo but let’s not ignore the other stressors on children and teens. Widespread use of social media has been shown to negatively impact one’s view of self-worth and happiness. It can also be used as a tool in relentless bullying and harassment. Stay involved in what your children are doing on social media and limit it’s use.
Are Your Children Covered Under The Right Health Plan?
Savers Health represents a multitude of health insurance plans for individuals and families. Make sure you have the best fit for you and your family. Let’s discuss your specific needs and budget considerations so we can find a great plan that provides the benefits you need to make sure your children are properly insured!