Improve Your Health

Four Tips for a Healthier School Year

About The Author

Tara Dontje

Quality Health Integration Coordinator

Network Health

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School is a place kids learn, make friends and become more independent. Unfortunately, it’s also a place they pick up plenty of germs. The good news is that helping your kids establish healthy habits can go a long way toward keeping them well during the school year.

Here are four tips to keep your family healthy throughout the school year.

  • Frequent hand washing is one of the easiest and most important ways to help prevent the spread of disease in the classroom – and everywhere else. Proper hand washing should include lathering up with soap and scrubbing hands for 20 seconds before rinsing.
  • Teach kids to avoid touching their face, eyes and nose and to sneeze and cough into their shoulder instead of their hands. It’s also a good idea to encourage them to avoid sharing water bottles, utensils and hair brushes with other kids.
  • Help kids establish good sleep habits, eat nutritious food and get regular physical activity.
  • Take time to talk to your kids every day to find out how their day went. How your child feels emotionally can affect his or her physical health – and ultimately impact classroom performance.

One of the hardest jobs as a parent is knowing when to keep your kids home from school when they are sick. Many schools list guidelines within handbooks but it varies from school district to school district. Here are a few general rules of thumb.

  • Kids should stay home if they have a fever of 100 degrees or more. Keep them home until the fever is less than 100 degrees for 24 hours without the help of fever-reducing medication.
  • Kids should stay home if they experience diarrhea or vomiting. Keep them home until they haven’t had either for 24 hours and can tolerate a normal diet.
  • Kids should stay home if they have a contagious virus or bacteria, such as strep throat or pinkeye. Keep them home until 24 hours after they take their first dose of prescription medication.

Network Health members can contact a 24-hour Nurse Line that provides free health advice. It’s a great resource if you’re looking for quick answers to questions about your child’s health. Network Health also has MDLIVE Virtual Visits that allow you to connect with a board-certified physician or pediatrician. Using your phone, tablet or computer, you can receive treatment for a wide variety of conditions. To learn more, visit us online or call 920-720-1212.

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