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Boost Your Kids’ Health & Wellbeing With These Expert Back-To-School Tips

The new school season is around the corner, so here are some medically-approved ways to ensure your children are off to a super duper start…

Each year, back-to-school shopping is a ceremonial event for students and a significant moment for parents as they observe yet another milestone. As well as waiting patiently for their kids to choose the coolest backpack, avoiding stock-outs and making sure notepads and writing tools are ticked off the list, many parents have to deal with a major concern. Understandably, especially during COVID-19 times, they want to know everything about the health and wellbeing aspects of their little ones stepping back into the classroom.

The good news is by cultivating the right habits in children, we can ensure they are physically and mentally prepared to go back to school. And thankfully, Dr Mahassen Dham Jallad has offered to share some sound advice about the best ways to do this. Here are six expert tips from the paediatrician at the Saudi German Clinic, Jumeirah to keep in mind while the new back-to-school season kickstarts.

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Drum In Proper Hygiene Routines

Kids are usually happy-go-lucky and love to discover things with their hands, so at school, they are prone to touching and picking up everything of interest around them. While parents cannot prevent this completely, they can teach them a couple of things about maintaining proper hygiene to stay healthy.

One of the most effective ways to avoid spreading or contracting germs is proper hand washing. Encouraging kids to sing the alphabet song or the happy birthday song while at the sink is a top way to help them do it right. It’s also important to remind them to wash the fronts, the backs and in-between fingers and reinforce this habit when they do it at home. Keeping a small bottle of hand sanitizer in the school bag is a great idea in case soap and water aren’t available.

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Keep Topping Up Drinks

Staying hydrated helps prevent fatigue, supports digestion and enhances brain function. The best way to keep your kids hydrated is offering healthy drink choices such as milk and fruit juices, in addition to the recommended intake of water. Parents should avoid reaching out for sodas and other sugary drinks that usually come with unfavourable ingredients added in them.

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Organise Activities Galore

It’s important to keep kids moving, especially during school days when a lot of their time is spent on chairs or benches. Adding sports and exercise into their daily routine will have them thinking positively, as well as keep them focused and excited. Signing children up for regular after-school activities or including them in family walks or jogs are other ways to keep them active.

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Stick To Bedtime Rituals

Getting your kids into a bona fide bedtime routine to ensure they get enough shuteye is very important. It is recommended that children get the following amount of sleep every day: Kids between six to 12 years need around nine to 12 hours of sleep, and teens aged 13 and over should get eight to 10 hours of sleep. Involving them in a little reading session before bedtime should help getting them more settled.

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Add Healthy Additions To Your Meal Plan

The importance of a healthy breakfast cannot be stressed enough. Students who eat breakfast are more alert and awake during class than those who don’t.

Healthy meals also mean a strong body that fights off infections. 

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Control Those Allergies

Managing your kids' allergies at school is an integral part of caring for their health. Seasonal ones are common and can disrupt productive school days. Symptoms like fatigue, headache, sneezing, runny nose, itchiness, etc. can exasperate children and reduce focus. Keeping a tab on their allergies and informing their teachers ahead of time about how to manage them during school hours will help make it easier for everyone. An annual or bi-annual check-up with the doctor to ensure kids are healthy and virus-free is ideal for avoiding major infections, especially during school days.

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