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Maple Grove Voice

Keeping Healthy: Top 5 Back-to-School Tips (Sponsored)

Aug 22, 2016 01:00PM ● By Maple Grove Hospital

Sponsored by Maple Grove Hospital and North Memorial Health Care

As the first day of school nears, here are the top five back-to-school tips for getting our kids ready. 

1. Get vaccinated and schedule a well-being exam

There is a series of immunizations required prior to starting kindergarten and several for teenagers, as well as adults. Check these immunization schedules for youth, teens and adults to be sure you’re up-to-date. The Minnesota Department of Health provides an easy-to-use form to record your child’s immunizations.

Sports and back-to-school physicals can be combined – just be sure to bring your school form along. During the exam, your provider will review your child’s complete health history and immunization records. They will screen for diseases like asthma that may affect a student’s ability to participate in gym or sports. They’ll perform a hernia exam and, if there’s any chance of physical contact in the sport, your provider will screen for risk factors including old injuries, past surgeries, and chronic conditions that put your student at risk. It’s also an opportunity to talk to teens about smoking, sexual activity, and recreational drug use. Schedule your back-to-school physical and vaccinations at a nearby North Memorial Clinic.

2. Stock up on healthy lunchbox ideas
Packing a good lunch will help kids be more alert and do better in school. Lunds & Byerlys offers a wide variety of healthy meal and snack choices. Make it easier for yourself by stocking up on healthy foods like fruits, vegetables, whole-grain bread and lean protein, like turkey. Take a few minutes on the weekends to cut up fruits and vegetables and prepare things like hard-boiled eggs for convenience in the mornings.

3. Teach good hygiene habits

With so many kids in one building, germs are bound to be lurking in the classroom. Teach your kids to wash their hands after using the restroom and before going to lunch or eating a snack. You can even provide on-the-go hand sanitizer to use when washing hands isn't convenient. You should also instruct kids not to share food or drinks with others.

4. Stay active

The National Institutes of Health recommends at least one hour of physical activity daily to help kids feel less stress and more ready to learn while maintaining a healthy weight, building strong muscles, bones and joints and sleeping better at night.

5. Set bedtimes

School-aged children and teens need at least nine hours of sleep each night. When scheduling your child’s day, set a sleep schedule to assure they are getting adequate sleep. Studies show getting proper sleep results in better grades, higher test scores and overall better quality of life. To get your kids ready to wake up earlier for school, consider making their bedtimes a little earlier each night for a week or two before school starts.

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