With the new school year about to start, parents can help their children stay healthy and strong. In a school year in which children will be learning in person, remotely, or through a blended model because of COVID-19, here are some important topics to keep in mind:
1. Annual checkup: During an annual checkup, a pediatrician can help detect health problems early, when they are easiest to treat. Even during the COVID-19 outbreak, it’s important for your child to keep having regular checkups, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Now is a good time to call your child’s pediatrician to ask about making an appointment for a checkup or needed care. Before the next visit, whether by telehealth or in person, write down any questions you may have.
2. Immunizations: Follow your pediatrician’s advice and keep your child’s immunizations, including seasonal vaccines like the flu shot, up to date. The American Academy of Pediatrics strongly supports continuing to give children their shots during the COVID-19 outbreak.
3. Hand washing: Hand washing is one of the most important ways to reduce the spread of germs, including the virus that causes COVID-19. Children should wash their hands frequently and thoroughly with soap and running water for at least 20 seconds each time. It’s especially important to wash hands before eating, and after blowing their nose, coughing, or sneezing; using the toilet; touching animals or their food; or playing outdoors.
4. Healthy lifestyle: A lifestyle that includes regular exercise and good nutrition can strengthen your child’s immune system. Make sure your child eats enough fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, and avoids saturated fats. Also, incorporate physical activity in their daily routine.
5. Bedtime routine: The recommended bedtime routine has three key parts: brush and floss teeth, read a book, and make sure children have the same bedtime each night. To help your child get used to waking up earlier during the school year, you can build the bedtime routine one part at a time, move the bedtime slowly to the desired time, and limit the use of electronic devices. Sleeping enough each night leads to improved physical, mental, and emotional health in children, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Fidelis Care is focused on children's health and wellness, and providing support and resources to parents as a new school year begins. We provide quality, affordable health insurance coverage to children and adults of all ages. To learn more, call 1-888-FIDELIS (1-888-343-3547; TTY: 711) or visit our Every Child Covered page.