Child Health

Health Guidelines for Returning to School

​The process of preparing children to return to school does not only include shopping for school supplies and new clothes, but also includes taking care of their health and preparing them physically to start a healthy, happy and fruitful new school year, because student’s health is linked to his academic achievement. The beginning of the school year is a good opportunity to promote healthy habits early in the life of the child and continue throughout his life.
To have a fruitful school year, children need to stay healthy, and to achieve this, the following guidelines should be followed:

  1. Making the child Accustomed to eating healthy food and maintaining physical activity:

Children spend most of their day at school, and most of them consume nearly half of their calories there. This makes school a great place to learn and practice healthy eating. A healthy diet consists of fresh fruits and vegetables, grains, dairy products, and lean meats, as well as limiting Saturated fats, added sugars, and sodium. Physical activity can help reduce anxiety and help increase a child’s concentration in school. Therefore, it is recommended that the child get at least 60 minutes of physical activity per day (such as: walking, running, and exercising) divided throughout the day before, during and after school.
  2. Teaching the child good health habits:
During the school day, children are exposed to many germs that may be spread on surfaces, which are transmitted to the child by touching them with hands and then touching his face or eyes, or transmitting them to others. Therefore, it is recommended to follow the following instructions to avoid infection and prevent its spread:

  • Wash hands well with soap and water regularly and frequently, especially before eating, after using the toilet and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing.
  • Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth with contaminated hands.
  • Use a tissue or the bend of your elbow when coughing or sneezing.
  • Avoid close contact with sick students or sharing tools with them.
  • Stay home when sick until fully recovered.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces.

  3. Completing the necessary vaccinations for the child according to the age group:
Before the start of the school time, it is necessary to ensure that the child completes the basic and necessary vaccinations according to the age stage, which help protect the child from infection with highly contagious diseases (such as: measles, whooping cough, etc.) and modern vaccines protect them from some types of cancer (such as: the human papillomavirus vaccine).
  4. Adjusting the bedtime routine before the start of the school time:
It is best to start adjusting sleep hours well in advance of the school year and the school time schedule, to prevent negative effects on the student’s health, behavior and school performance, by adjusting the sleeping times for the student while following the routine every night to sleep and wake up early, while making sure that the child fulfills the number of hours sufficient for his sleep according to his age. Children between the ages of 6-12 years should get from 9 To 12 hours of sleep a day, adolescents aged 13 - 18 years from 8 to 10 hours of sleep a day.
  5. Limiting the use of electronic devices and screen time:
It is recommended to limit screen time associated with entertainment, therefore, plans and rules for screen time should be established during the school year and agreed upon with the student before school starts. It is also important to limit screen use 30 to 60 minutes before bedtime, as screens can make falling asleep more difficult.
   6. Create a preschool morning routine:
Establishing a morning routine for the student will help prepare for the day ahead in a structured and accessible way. It can include:

  • Waking up at the same time every day.
  • Brushing the teeth, then performing ablution and praying.
  • Eating a nutritious breakfast.
  • Preparing school supplies and a backpack the night before.
  • Combing the hair, wearing the school uniform, and ensuring that it is comfortable and suitable for the weather.
  • Ensure that the school lunch bag is prepared and contains complete healthy nutrients

School student bag:

  • Choose a backpack with wide, padded shoulder straps and a padded back.
  • Organize the backpack to use all the parts inside.
  • Put heavy tools near the middle of the back.
  • The backpack should not weigh more than 10% to 20% of the child's body weight.
  • Check the bag with the baby weekly, and remove unnecessary items to keep it light.
  • Remind students to always use two shoulder straps as carrying a backpack on one shoulder can strain muscles.
  • Adjust the position of the bag so that its lower part is at the child's waist.

Heat-related illnesses during the school day:
The school year begins in summer, and students, while playing and exercising in school, are exposed to a high temperature of the weather, and this may lead them to suffer from many heat-related diseases (such as: dehydration, heat stress, heat cramps, and heat stroke), so you should pay attention to the signs of heat-related disease and go to a healthcare provider immediately if the child shows any of the following symptoms:

  • Extreme tiredness (e.g., unusual sleepiness or difficulty waking up).
  • Fever and headache.
  • Extreme thirst.
  • Not urinating for several hours.
  • Feeling nauseous or vomiting.
  • Breathing faster or deeper than normal.
  • Feeling of numbness or tingling in the skin.
  • Muscle aches or spasms.
  • Feeling faint

To prevent heat-related diseases while participating in school outdoor activities:

  • Urge the student to drink water regularly throughout the day and not to wait until he feels thirsty to drink water.
  • It is preferable to purchase a numbered water bottle to monitor the child's daily consumption.
  • Wear loose, light, comfortable, and light-colored clothing.
  • Do not leave the child alone in the car, even for a short period of time. Because the interior of the car can get hot dangerously in a short period of time even if windows are open.
  • When the child notices symptoms of heat-related diseases, he should be moved to a cool place, urged to drink water if he is conscious, cool his body with compresses, or take a cold bath, then go to the nearest healthcare emergency.

Promote good communication and trust:
Some students are starting school for the first time, which can be a scary time for both parents and children, so it is important to build a strong foundation of communication and trust with the student, so that everyone can have a healthy and successful school year by:

  • Participation in the student's education by attending parent-teacher meetings, because by doing so, it shows him the extent of your interest in his education and the desire to be part of his success.
  • Allocating a quiet space for him at home and placing the study table and all his tools therein; to help him concentrate.
  • Agreeing with the student on the rules and laws of the school day before studying (such as: determining the time for electronic devices and the time for sleeping and studying).
  • Tell the child that you are always available to him to provide support and assistance and to listen to any concerns or problems that he may face.
  • When there are several students in the family, separate time can be allocated for each of them separately in order to enhance confidence.
  • Talking with the child about his experiences at school and whether he is facing any problems (e.g.: exposure to bullying or anything else that causes concern).
  • Help him understand the correct ways to deal with anger and quarrels, and explain to him that violence is not a solution to problems.

Planning for special medical cases:
If the child suffers from any chronic or special medical condition, the school must be informed of it before the study, especially when moving to a new school. They must also be informed of any emergency that the child may face in order to facilitate the speedy handling of it when it occurs (such as anaphylaxis, epilepsy, diabetes, etc.).

Last Update : 13 August 2023 01:26 PM
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