Healthy Kids: Back to school tips

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FORT MYERS, Fla. – Most school-age children have been back in the classroom for weeks now.

Here to discuss some back to school health tips is Dr. Annette St. Pierre-Mackoul.

The Best Fit For a Backpack:

  • Concerns: discomfort, fatigue, muscle soreness, and muscular pain.
  • 28,000 sprains, strains, dislocations and fractures due to backpack injury.
  • Make sure that backpacks fit.
  • Fit requirements: use both straps, appropriate padding, weight distributed well.
  • Backpack should weigh less than 10% child’s body weight.

Packed lunches: A balancing act:

  • Hunger leads to poor school performance.
  • Healthy students perform better than unhealthy ones.
  • Healthy and filling lunches are crucial to learning.
  • Be creative and vary the lunch choices.
  • Involve your child in making and packing lunches.

Getting a good night’s sleep:

  • Sleep recharges the body’s battery.
  • Allows energy for schoolwork and protects against stress.
  • Need at least 8-9 hours of sleep per night.
  • Quality and quantity of sleep are important.
  • Regular bedtimes, avoid napping and no electronics before bed.

Screen time and keeping active:

  • Electronics before bed affects sleep quality.
  • Limit screen time to 2 hours per day.
  • Screen time = computers, TVs, and smart-phones (anything with a screen)
  • Assure at least 1 hour of exercise outside of school’s PE program.
  • TV off at mealtime – encourage conversation.

The importance of having good role models:

  • All of the above is important for all ages.
  • Children learn more by your actions than your words.
  • Children with caring and less controlling parents are happier as adults.

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