Child's Health
School Health

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Breakfast:

Breakfast is one of the most important meals of the day in terms of its nutritional value because it comes after an overnight fast. It increases activity levels and enhances academic performance by providing the body with the nutrients it needs.

  • Malnourishment weakens the memory and limits intelligence, which in turn affects academic performance.
  • Students should be taught to eat breakfast at home before going to school.
  • It is preferable to prepare a diversified and a well-balanced breakfast while making sure to maintain its nutritional value as much as possible.
  • Students should not stay up late at night because it leads to waking up late in the morning and therefore they may not have a chance to eat breakfast.
  • Eating breakfast helps students organize their three meals.
  • When students skip breakfast, they become more prone to obesity and inactivity.
  • Skipping breakfast may lead to: getting tired quickly, losing the desire to study, mental fatigue, and limited perception and cognitive functions.
  • Breakfast should contain carbohydrates, fruits, proteins and vegetables.
  • It is recommended to drink a cup of water upon waking up from sleep and to keep drinking water during school activities.
  • Mothers must seize the opportunity of their children returning to school and provide them with healthy nutritious foods such as dairy and fruits while avoiding sweets.
  • It is recommended to place healthy beverages in colored glasses to draw the children's attention.
  • Mothers should be patient when instilling healthy eating habits.
  • It is important to provide healthy snacks between meals, such as, dates and dairy products and others.
  • It is important to note that students should not be fed by force, and that they should be persuaded to eat willingly.
  • Students should be encouraged to exercise.
  • Malnourishment weakens the memory and limits intelligence, which in turn affects academic performance.
  • Staying hydrated is not limited to drinking only water; there are other sources that keep you hydrated such as milk, fruits and others.
  • It is recommended to carry a refillable water bottle at school, which helps remind students to drink water continuously and at a lower cost.

 

The importance of drinking water:

  1. Improves brain function.
  2. Improves memory and increases creativity.
  3. Helps students remain focused for longer periods of time.
  4. Helps students get better grades.
  5. Reduces stress and anxiety.
  6. Boosts immunity.
  7. Improves digestion.

 

Vaccinations required for school students:

Students must take the following vaccinations: Polio vaccine- DPT vaccine(diphtheria, pertussis, and tetanus)- MMR vaccine (Measles Mumps and Rubella) - Varicella vaccine (chickenpox).

The DT vaccine is given to children starting from the age of seven.

 

Sleep:

The importance of students getting enough sleep:

  • Helps students get better grades.
  • Reduces the possibility of mood swings.
  • Reduces school absenteeism.
  • Reduces sleepiness during the day.
  • Reduces digestive and nutritional disorders associated with poor sleep (such as obesity).

 

The effect of sleep deprivation on students:

  • Paleness and sleepiness throughout the day.
  • Mood Swings.
  • Difficulties learning, recalling information and thinking clearly.
  • Increased likelihood of accidents when engaging in activities that involve movement or driving.
  • Higher risk of disease.
  • Lack of enthusiasm.
  • Possible weight gain.
  • Low self-esteem.

 

Tips for a Better Night's Sleep:

  • Stick to a sleep schedule by waking up and going to bed at a specific time.
  • Avoid caffeine especially in the afternoon and evening.
  • Avoid eating heavy meals before sleeping.
  • Do regular early morning exercises.
  • Avoid going to bed when you are not sleepy.
  • If you don't fall asleep within about 20 minutes, leave your bedroom and do a mild activity.
  • Avoid napping after 3pm.
  • Create a restful sleep environment that is quiet, dark and cool.
  • Avoid performing tasks and homework at the end of the day.
  • Limit stimuli around bedtime (such as: television, computer, and video games).
  • Create to-do lists before going to sleep to minimize thinking about them while attempting to sleep.
  • Engage in light and calm activities in the evening.

 

Naps:

Most parents worry that naps may disrupt their children's nighttime sleeping, but in fact, healthy naps can give them a chance to get enough rest, making them quieter and more stable at night. Naps also help improve their mental and physical efficiency. However, if the parents feel that naps are disrupting their children's nighttime sleeping, they can make sure that the naps shorter and earlier during the day.

 

The amount of sleep needed by students:

Healthy sleep is not solely dependent on the number of sleeping hours you get per day, it also depends on the quality of sleep. There are several factors that determine how much sleep the body needs, including: Age, lifestyle, health, recent quality of sleep, and others.

During puberty, individuals encounter some changes in their biological clock, and they tend to sleep and wake up later than usual, which explains why secondary-school students feel sleepy throughout the school day.

 

Sleep Needs by Age:

The amount of sleep a child needs varies, and there is no fixed number of hours that works for all children even if they are from the same age group, but the number of hours can be estimated as follows:

  • Children aged between 6-12 years old: Approximately 9-11 hours per day.
  • Children aged between 13-19 years old: Approximately 8-10 hours per day.

Tips to Adjust Your Child's Sleep Schedule Before School Starts:

Adjusting the students' sleep schedule is not only necessary to avoid facing difficulties waking up in the morning, but also because sleep deprivation could affect academic performance.

  1. Start gradually: Start two weeks before the beginning of the school year. It is advised to set earlier bedtimes and earlier wake-up times by 5 to 15 minutes everyday until their sleep schedule is regular.
  2. Create a bedtime routine (especially for young children): The bedtime routine should revolve around relaxing activities (such as reading bedtime stories, wearing pajamas, etc.) These activities tell the brain that bedtime is beginning.
  3. Lead by example: Parents who are committed to their own sleep schedule set a better example for their children, which encourages children to follow their parents' example.
  4. Stick to the schedule: Make sure to commit to the sleep schedule even on weekends.

 

School Health:

  • Students who suffer from certain medical issues such as diabetes, epilepsy, heart disease, asthma and others must carry a card indicating their illness.
  • Parents should contact the school and provide them with details about the student's medical condition, the medication required, how to respond in emergencies, and the symptoms that should be noted immediately.

 

Diabetes:

  • Diabetes is not contagious, so diabetic students should be treated in the same way as healthy students.
  • Teachers should be alerted not refuse diabetic students' request to go to the bathroom or drink juice during class.
  • Parents must regularly update the school about any changes in the student's medical condition.
  • Teachers should be educated about the symptoms of high or low blood sugar, their causes in order to avoid them, and what to do in emergencies.
  • The expiration date of the insulin shots should be checked regularly.
  • The patient must take the insulin shot, and it must be available at school.
  • Alternative options for rigorous physical activity must be provided for students who suffer form this condition.

 

Asthma:

  • Parents must regularly update the school about any changes in the student's medical condition.
  • The validity of asthma medications must be checked regularly.
  • Asthma patients should not over exert themselves during sports classes.
  • Students with asthma should make sure the take their inhalers with them to school.
  • Students with asthma should be kept away from common triggers such as: Dust, chalk dust, smoke and others.
  • Classrooms must be clean and well-ventilated.
  • Fertilized plants should not be kept in classrooms or playgrounds.
  • Mowing the grass in playgrounds must be avoided during school hours.
  • Teachers and students must avoid using strong perfumes.
  • Chemicals and vapors in science labs should be avoided.
  • Wall paint and pesticides should not be used during school hours.

 

Epilepsy:

  • Parents should contact the school and provide them with details about the student's medical condition, the medication required, how to respond in emergencies.
  • Any harmful objects should be removed in the vicinity of the student during seizures, and he should be moved away form anything that can put him in danger such as stairways.
  • Students suffering from epilepsy should be kept away from triggers such as: Anxiety about tests or school assignments.
  • Some epilepsy students are advised not to participate in some exerting physical activities if it is not necessary.

 

Allergy:

  • Teachers should be well-aware of allergy symptoms and what to do in emergencies.
  • Students should be encouraged to wash their hands before and after eating.
  • Students should be kept away from contaminated surfaces such as: Tables, computers, books and so on.
  • Being familiar with allergens and staying away from them is necessary.
  • Adrenaline shots should be available at school.
  • The expiry dates of medications should be checked from time to time.
  • As for Latex allergies, students should be kept away from rubber gloves, balloons, pencil erasers, rubber balls, as well as some tubes and plugs used for laboratory experiments.

 

Lice:

  • Head lice are small parasitic insects that live on the scalp where they lay their eggs and feed on blood.
  • The female louse lays three to eight eggs per day near the scalp.
  • Head lice do not have wings so they can not fly or jump, but they can crawl from one person to another.
  • Head lice are spread most commonly by direct contact from head to head, or by sharing belongings such as: Hair brushes, towels, blankets, hats and hair accessories ... etc.
  • It spreads quickly among school students, and those students can spread them to their parents and caregivers.
  • Getting head lice is not a sign of poor personal hygiene.
  • Home pets (such as: Dogs and cats) do not play a role in spreading head lice.
  • Constant and vigorous itching and the presence of lice eggs are the most important symptoms of having head lice.
  • Not all scalp itchiness is caused by head lice; it could be due other reasons like dandruff.
  • The doctor may recommend a special shampoo, cream or lotion to kill the lice, so it is recommended to follow the treatment in addition to using lice combs.

 

Prevention:

  • Children should be instructed not to share tools with other people such as: combs, hats, scarves, towels, helmets and others.
  • Head-to-head contact should be avoided as much as possible in schools whether at the gym, the playground, or during sports, not to mention while playing at home with other children.
  • Children should be instructed not to lie down on beddings, pillows, and carpets recently used by someone with lice.
  • Avoid inspecting children's hair in schools by using the same tools (such as rulers or pens) on multiple children to avoid head-to-head contact that leads to lice spread.

 

School Backpack:

  • Backpacks with  two padded straps allow students to carry all the items they require and distribute them evenly on both shoulders.
  • The weight of the backpack carried on the students' back must be less than 10% of their body weight.
  • Carrying heavy school backpacks is one of the most important causes of back pain, spinal deformities and rounded shoulders.
  • The doctor must consulted if the student complains of back pain continuously.

To reduce risk, a lighter backpack is recommended. This can be achieved by:  

  • Carrying the books required for that day alone.
  • Cleaning and organizing the backpack on a daily basis to ensure that the student only has the items he needs and nothing more.
  • Encouraging the student not to keep the backpack on his back when it is not necessary for example: While waiting for the bus.
  • Teaching students the proper way to carry backpacks.

 

School backpack design and specifications:

  • The size of the school backpack should suit the size of the student. It should not be higher than the shoulders or lower than the waistline.
  • It is advisable that the backpack is resistant to dirt and water.
  • It should have two straps and not one.
  • The backpack should have multiple pockets and compartments to allow for better weight distribution.
  • The two straps of the backpack should be padded and wide for more comfort.
  • The straps should be adjustable, and it is preferable that the backpack comes with belts around the chest and the waist.
  • Avoid carrying the backpack on one shoulder.
  • All the heavy items should be placed at the base of the bag, close to the spine, to better distribute the weight on the shoulders.
  • When lifting a backpack off the ground, the knees should be bent and not the torso.
  • When using wheel-bags, it is preferable to choose a bag with bigger wheels and a handle that can be adjusted to suit the height of the student so that he does not have to bend all the time when pushing or pulling the bag.

Other than choosing the right school backpack, there are other simple strategies that can help keep the spine healthy, such as exercising regularly and maintaining proper back posture.

 

A student with good personal hygiene projects a more civilized image and is more easily accepted by society; But more importantly, good personal hygiene protects students from diseases and illnesses caused by lack of interest in hygiene.

We wish you a happy and healthy school year!

For further information:

 

Last Update : 29 January 2020 03:08 PM
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