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Health Minute: Going Back to School Health Reminders

By: Claude

Adrian Dyer, MD, family medicine physician with Adventist HealthCare Adventist Medical Group shares health reminders to ensure your kids are back-to-school ready this year! 


As our students go back to school, it is important to emphasize good hygiene... now more than ever, correct? 


Good hygiene is always going to be important! When talking to your children, teach them the importance of thorough handwashing throughout the day. Typically, washing with soap and water for 20 seconds is suggested, which is about the length of the “Happy Birthday” song sung twice. Children should wash their hands after using the restroom, before eating, after recess and after playing with toys.  

It’s also important to watch for the spread of lice, which often happens during head-to-head contact during pay time, sports and sleepovers. Stress the importance of not sharing combs, brushes, hats and hair accessories with other children to prevent the spread of lice.    

Do you have any advice on making sure kids eat a healthy diet during the school year?  


Make sure they get breakfast! Children who eat breakfast are more alert in class compared to those who don’t. When it comes to lunch, it should consist of a balanced meal. Make sure to include fruits, veggies, and lean proteins. Try to avoid prepackaged snacks such as chips and cookies which are high in salt and additives. If you have a picky eater:  

  • Continue to introduce new foods  

  • Don’t use food as a reward  

  • Be a role model for a healthy diet    

Do you have any tips that can help parents deal with the stress and their kids may feel as they start school once again? 


Starting school again can bring on stress and anxiety in children. Help them get prepared and stay calm by:  

  • Making kids aware of who their teacher is  

  • Helping them map out their class schedule  

  • Getting a tour of the school if they need it or visiting classroom to get acquainted  

  • Help to find neighborhood friends for them to walk to school or ride the bus with 


Something else to be on the lookout for is bullying. Not all children feel comfortable speaking up about it but you may be able to notice early signs such as:  

  • Changes in behavior  

  • Academic problems  

  • Anxiety  

  • Depression  

  • Self-harm  


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