Back-to-School Health Checklist for Parents
Back-to-school time spells children being excited to meet their friends and teachers, join classes, and participate in extracurricular activities. While children look forward to the activity front, parents are responsible for taking care of their child’s health before school starts, including their sleep routine, immunity, and overall health.
This back-to-school checklist is designed to assist you in taking care of your child’s health.
How to Prioritise Your Child’s Health as School Starts
Your little one’s health is a priority. If your child is 5 or below, look out for developmental milestones. Talk to your child’s paediatrician about what to expect, what to eat, or any health or cognitive concerns you are facing with your child.
Back-to-School Children’s Health Checklist – Steps to Ensure a Healthy School Year
When schools start, there is so much for parents to keep in mind, such as:
1. Help the Child Overcome School Anxiety
Comforting your child about the school, exciting them about the adventures that await, packing their bag together with their favourite items, and explaining what to expect on their first day can help them overcome their anxiety and go to school with a fresh mindset.
2. Schedule Health Check-up With Your Child’s Paediatrician
Parents’ attention is always on their children when they are in school – ‘Are they studying well?’ ‘Have they eaten yet?’ ‘Are they feeling healthy?’
Thus, an annual health check-up is recommended to stay updated with your child’s growth progress and other health concerns. It also reduces parents’ worry for their children once they know their little one is fit and fine.
Little changes in your child’s meals may bring a positive difference in their health and benefit them in the long run. Pack food items in their lunch that combine protein, carbs, calories, fat, and fibre. Colourful and seasonal fruits and veggies, whole grains, nuts, and dairy products keep energy levels high throughout the day to focus well on studies and activities.
4. Make Sure Your Child’s Vaccinations Are Up to Date
Children at school sit together, play, share food, and do many different social activities. When out of school, they may consume street food. And street food may cause infectious diseases which are foodborne and waterborne, such as hepatitis A, typhoid, polio, etc. These are vaccine-preventable diseases, and hence it’s essential for parents and guardians to keep a check on their child’s vaccinations.
A child’s health and academics are of prime importance and cannot be compromised because of the risk of serious diseases. Vaccinations may prevent the disease, reduce its severity and protect your child and others. Hence, ensuring your child’s all vaccinations are up to date is essential.
MyVaccinationHub is a helpful tool that will help you save time on tracking your child’s timely vaccination with age and the required number of doses. For more information, please consult your paediatrician.
5. Prevent School-going Kids From Catching Flu
In peak flu seasons, children may be at a high risk of contracting the illness, which interferes with their studies. Also, children may play with each other or touch contaminated surfaces or eat outside food, which may expose them to the flu.
To prevent flu, annual vaccination, along with good hand hygiene and social distancing, are different ways of protecting school children from unnecessary pain caused due to illness. Experts recommend annual flu shots for children below 5 years of age. So, before the onset of flu season, please consult your paediatrician for more information.
6. Don’t Cut on Play and Fitness
Play is as much important as studies. Children need at least an hour of physical space. Instead of video games and cartoons on TV, entice them to indulge in outdoor physical activities. It reduces stress and helps children stay fit.
7. Communicate With School Regarding Your Child’s Medications
If your child is allergic to any substance found on the school grounds or has any long-term medical condition, make sure your child’s school has updated information. It will be useful in case of emergency.
8. Promote a Good Sleep Routine
During holidays, routine bedtime may take a back seat, and children get used to waking up late. Children need at least 10 hours of sleep at night, while teens need around 8 to 10 hours of sleep.
A few weeks before school starts, gradually ease your children into a fixed bedtime and wake-up routine.
9. Take Care of Your Child’s Back
Children are prone to back pain because of heavy backpacks. Heavy schoolbags can induce pain in the shoulders, back and joints. Buy your little champ backpacks that are padded and offer good shoulder support. Also, arrange your kid’s bag in a way there is no uneven weight on either side.
Other Important Things to Remember
Infectious diseases come with minimal warnings. So, teach your child the basics of personal hygiene so they can avoid germs that could make them sick. Some standard hygiene practices you can teach them are:
- Wash hands thoroughly for at least 20 seconds at school and at home.
- Avoid touching their face with dirty hands.
- Always sneeze into handkerchiefs, tissues, or sleeves.
- Wash hands or use hand sanitiser before eating and after using the toilet.
- Keep nails clipped and clean.
Apart from maintaining hygiene practices, make sure your kid is also vaccinated with necessary shots to avoid community spread and unnecessary pain from illnesses.
Help your child start school with their best foot forward by using this back-to-school health checklist. Plus, by maintaining your child’s health and vaccination record, you are setting examples that will not only keep them safe but will also inculcate healthy habits, benefitting them in the future.
Please consult your doctor for more information.
If you found this article helpful, share it with fellow parents!
Disclaimer: Issued in public interest by GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceuticals Limited. Dr. Annie Besant Road, Worli, Mumbai 400 030, India.
Information appearing in this material is for general awareness only. Nothing contained in this material constitutes medical advice. Please consult your doctor for any medical queries, any question or concern you may have regarding your condition. The disease list indicated for vaccination is not complete, please consult your doctor for the complete vaccination schedule. Views/opinions expressed by the doctor are independent and not influenced in any way by any organization.
NP-IN-ABX-OGM-220063, DoP Sept 2022