Back to School Health Tips

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Ah, summer…sleeping in, going barefoot, and only loosely structured days. Remember that feeling? Unfortunately, we always knew that when mom or dad started taking is shopping for school clothes, that freedom would soon be over. When we went back, getting used to the whole regimen thing was difficult. The first few weeks was kind of rough.

There are things we, as parents, can do to make the transition easier. They’re simple and a few of them will not be appreciated by our kids, but they are worth the difficulties petulant children can pose.

1) Exercise: I grew up on a farm, so I had exercise all year, though we didn’t think of it that way. However, in the city kids might not be so lucky. Also, now that we have cable television, video games and other electronics, our kids aren’t so physically active.

After a couple of months being a mouse potato, going to gym class can be very difficult. In some kids, it can also be dangerous. Late July or early August is a good time to slowly start building up your children’s stamina so they are ready for gym class, sports and whatever else they may be interested in.

2) Hydration: Start the kids on a habit of remaining hydrated. You can work this in with the increased exercise. Many schools recognize the need for water breaks, etc. but it’s not as easy to convince the kids they need it. If they’re thirsty, they’re already dehydrated. Making it a habit is the best way to head that problem off.

3) Medications: Some children require medication during the day. Asthmatics in particular need it. However, most schools will not allow the children to carry their own medications; they have to go to the nurse’s office to take it. Now is a good time to start them in the habit of coming to you at specific times to get it. That way, when it’s the nurse, they’re ready.

4) Physicals: Schools generally require athletes to have a physical before taking part in any sport. It’s a great idea for all children to do this, and right before school starts is a good time. This way, medical conditions can be caught early and treated when success is the most likely outcome.

5) Shoes: What sort of shoe is appropriate depends on the activities for which they will be worn. Find out what is going to be on the schedule, then take your child to a shoe specialist to get the right shoes. The specialist will also look for foot problems, such as fallen arches.

6) Vaccinations: Measles and whooping cough are resurging in the U.S. right now. Six infants have died just in SoCal this year. Make sure your child is up to date on all vaccinations to prevent adding another child to the growing stats on childhood diseases making a comeback.

7) Wake Up Time: That is most kids’ least favorite time of day. However, if you want them used to the idea, starting now is wise. You may also want to start insisting on an earlier bedtime. Your kids may argue that a recent study shows that sleeping in allows for greater ability to learn, but until schools change their start times, that’s not going to happen.

Your kids may not appreciate what you’re doing for them until they are older, but they will eventually see that you were right. This is one of those areas where being a parent isn’t exactly easy, but it’s a lot better than the alternatives.

For more information about home remedies, you can visit my site: There are blogs and articles about many herbs and the conditions they may help. Subjects include stress, back pain, the flu, gout and cholesterol. You can also download my free report, the Top Ten Herbs. The report discusses the uses, side effects, precautions and interactions of popular herbs. My eBooks, also found on the site, contain information about foods and herbs that can help you deal with the problems life throws our way. If you have any questions, feel free to e-mail me at: Mary Bodel, MH

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