School nurses share tips for keeping kids healthy this school year

. August 1, 2017.

There is nothing worse than back-to-school sniffles. Because it’s not realistic to keep kids in a bubble, we’ve compiled tried-and-true tips, provided by school nurses, for keeping kids healthy. Madelynn Whitman, school nurse at Bigelow Hill Intermediate, recommends preventing illness by building a healthy immune system:

“Eat a healthy breakfast. Sometimes time is an issue. Good, quick options include yogurt, granola bars, dried cereal, breakfast bars, fresh fruit and dried fruit.

Drink plenty of water. Your body cannot differentiate between hunger and thirst. Your best bet for successfully identifying whether the feeling is hunger or thirst is to have your child drink water the first time they tell you that they are hungry and see if that satisfies the hunger sensation.

Get enough sleep! Have a regular bedtime and limit screen time before bed. Keep devices such as TVs and video games out of your child’s bedroom, and get them to turn off smartphones, tablets and other screens about an hour before bed.”

Jaclyn Cline, nurse at Marie English Early Childhood Center in Marion, works with preschool aged children. “Education is the key. I do fun little presentations in the classrooms regarding germs and send information home to parents so they are aware of what was taught and can reinforce the practices at home.” Cline recommends teaching young children the basics:

Frequent hand washing is key. Washing your hands before and after you eat as well as after you go to the bathroom, play outside or blow your nose. Cough or sneeze into your elbow instead of your hand.

Help your teachers out by keeping children home from school when they’re sick. Most schools ask that students return to school only after they have been fever free for 24 hours. Also consider donating an extra box of tissues or sanitizing wipes to your child’s classroom to help keep little hands and desks clean! Have a healthy school year!