NEWS FROM THE NURSE:
We are entering a new school year with a lot of unkowns! As a nurse, I get all my information from the CDC. They are a trustworthy site and the information they put out is updated, usually - hourly. There are things on the site that can help a parent or teacher discuss the “goings on” in a language that YOUR student will understand.
Here are some tips to stay healthy each day (not just because of COVID):
1. WASH YOUR HANDS (of course…what else would I say if not that?!) Washing hands is very important when trying to prevent the spread of diseases like the common cold, the flu, or even COVID-19. Believe it or not, there is a PROPER way to wash! I have attached a link from the Center for Disease Control (AKA: the CDC) that explains when, why, and HOW to wash.
Parents can teach hand washing using the alphabet song or even the Happy Birthday song. Each finger should be washed all the way to just above the wrists. Check out these web pages: www.cdc.org/handwashing
2. PROPER HYGIENE, which includes brushing teeth regularly, is very important for staying healthy. Things such as a bath or brushing your teeth can help your body in the fight to keep you healthy. As a matter of fact, brushing your teeth on a regular basis can prevent many bad illnesses. Here are some things you can do to ensure good oral health for your child:
- Encourage your children to eat regular nutritious meals and avoid frequent between-meal snacking.
- Protect your child’s teeth with fluoride by using a fluoride toothpaste. If your child is less than 7 years old, put only a pea-sized amount on their toothbrush. Seek advice from a dentist or other health care professional before introducing fluoride toothpaste to children under 2 years of age. If your drinking water is not fluoridated, talk to a dentist or physician about the best way to protect your child’s teeth.
- Talk to your child’s dentist about dental sealants. They protect teeth from decay.
- Regularly floss your teeth.
- Proper tooth brushing is critically important to good dental hygiene. Parents can help their children practice proper tooth brushing by starting to clean teeth early, using the right amount of fluoride toothpaste, supervising tooth brushing, and talking to a pediatrician or dentist about a child’s specific fluoride needs. More information on caring for children’s teeth may be found at CDC’s Brush Up on Healthy Teeth pages. www.cdc.gov
3. GET OUTSIDE IN THE SUN! You don’t have to go to the store or even the park. You can toss a ball on the backyard or in the front area of your home - but stay out of the street! The sunshine contains Vitamin D, which is essential for Calcium to be able to move throughout the body. Vitamin D has been noted to improve mood and help balance other body systems.
4. GO TO BED! Sorry kiddos, Moms and Dads are right! Going to bed and getting sleep is imperative for a healthy body. School age kiddos (6-12 years old) should be getting a full 9-10 hours of sleep. The human body does most of its “repair” when we are sleeping. This is when the body does a sort of, “re-boot”. It gives the body a chance to heal and regenerate needed cells in our bodies. Kiddos, go to bed when you are told!
5. EAT HEALTHY! Right now, we are all doing take out or easy stuff which is ok for a little while. However, making meals at home is best. I don’t mean microwave pizzas either! My suggestion is to learn to cook together as a family. Instead of microwave pizza, make one from scratch. Bake bread. Baking is chemistry so that can also be used as a learning tool! Yay!! Then you can eat what you learned. Just make sure what you make for meals is well rounded. Think about this; protein makes muscles and new cells. Fruits and veggies add in vitamins that we all need, especially the leafy greens. Nuts (if you’re not allergic) are good for the brain. In moderation, carbohydrates like pasta, rice, or breads, help with the energy to process all the good things.
6. LAUGH ALOT! Yes, laugh...laughter is so healing and produces good chemicals in our bodies that help with healing and our general well-being.
Susan Wilson, RN, BSN
Lake Pleasant Elementary, School Nurse
623-775-6575 (school line)