The new year and beginning of spring is an opportune time to start creating healthy habits and goals for your kids.
Our doctors at Care Resource have 6 tips to help your loved ones stay healthy this spring.
1. Encourage healthy sleep habits
It is recommended that school-aged children (5 to 12 years old) need 9 to 12 hours of sleep each night. Studies have linked sleep deprivation with mood swings and reduced cognitive function, including concentration difficulties, lower test scores, and a drop in overall school performance. Creating a bedtime routine can help establish a healthy sleep schedule.
2. Teach proper handwashing techniques
To prevent sickness and the spread of germs, children should be taught how to properly wash their hands. They should:
- use warm water and plenty of soap
- lather up to their lower arms, between fingers, and under their nails for 20 seconds (teach them a little song to sing for 20 seconds)
- rinse with clean, warm water
- dry their hands thoroughly with paper towels
3. Have them vaccinated
Vaccination can help protect against illness and the spread of disease. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that everyone ages 5 years and older get a COVID-19 vaccine. Children 6 months and older can receive the flu vaccine each year. Vaccination is especially important for children with asthma, heart disease, diabetes, weakened immune systems, or obesity.
According to Douglas Steele, MSN, RN, Director of Medical Care Services at Care Resource, “Vaccinations help prevent kids from getting diseases like Influenza and COVID-19. It can help prevent or reduce the spread of disease and stop other variants from emerging. Getting vaccinated will also help keep children in school and participating in the things they enjoy with fewer disruptions to school attendance and other activities.”
4. Have them eat healthily and drink lots of water
Kids should be taught to eat nutrient-rich fruits and vegetables and to drink plenty of water to create healthy habits early on. According to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, childhood obesity rose significantly during the pandemic, the greatest change was among children ages 5 to 11, who gained an average of more than five pounds, adjusted for height.
5. Encourage sports and exercise
Kids should be encouraged to play sports and exercise rather than spend time in front of a screen. Caregivers should stress the importance of exercise and set the stage for a lifetime of physical fitness. Active children are less likely to become overweight, have stronger muscles and bones, and have a decreased risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
6. Get their annual exam
Annual exams are highly critical for the continued well-being of your children. Kids who are in school are more at risk for certain illnesses. Scheduling regular wellness exams is the best way to detect health concerns early, it keeps them on track with their vaccinations and helps assess their physical development. Regular exams are critical for helping keep your children healthy and happy through their time in school.
About Care Resource:
Care Resource is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC). We offer affordable, high-quality pediatric services that include well-child care, pediatric hearing, vision, and dental care, immunizations, routine health screenings, and adolescent care. Most services are provided on a sliding-fee scale that reduces the fees for those with lower incomes or the inability to pay.