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How to Start the New School Year Healthy!

The new school year is starting off, and with it brings the excitement of new knowledge, new friends, and new experiences! But it often also brings its fair share of illness with it! COVID-19 is on the rise again according to the latest Data Trackers with the CDC. Not to mention, there's always illnesses such as stomach bugs and the common cold. As the new school year kicks off, we are using this week's Wellness Wednesday to give some good reminders of how to keep you and your children healthy!

1. Proper Hand Washing
Lather your hands with soap and warm water and wash for at least 30 seconds to reduce the spread of germs. You may have heard of the trick to sing the ABC's while you wash to give you enough time. Remember to wash your hands after the bathroom, when you sneeze, and before you eat. If you're not able to wash your hands, using hand sanitizer is the next best option. However, hand sanitizer should not be used as a permanent replacement to hand washing.

2. Establish a Good Sleep Schedule
Setting our children up for success when it comes to sleep helps to keep them healthy not only physically, but aids mental health as well. Students with adequate sleep show better concentration and it can help decrease anxiety and depression. Even older kids can benefit from a set bedtime schedule.

3. Properly Cover Your Cough and Sneeze
Airborne particles can spread quickly when coughs and sneezes are left uncovered. However, doing so properly is a game changer in keeping parents and kids healthy during the school year. Do not sneeze or cough into your hand. Instead, use the crook of your elbow to cover. This is a simple yet effective change that can help reduce the spread of germs. Do you have younger kids that you're trying to teach this technique? Make it fun with them! Play "Vampire" and have them "swoop their cape" in front of their face, bringing their arm around so that their cough or sneeze is covered by the crook of their elbow.

4. When You're Sick - Stay Home
If your child does become sick, it is best to keep them at home to limit the transmission of illness. Each morning, monitor your child and check in on how they are feeling. If you notice a fever, vomiting or diarrhea, sore throat and/or cough, or sinus congestion, these are signs that your child will need to stay home from school and could need a trip to a healthcare provider.

There are lots of germs at school, so follow these helpful tips to get you and your child on the right track to healthy living during the school year! We wish you health and happiness, but of course we are here for you in those moments when illness does strike. We often are able to offer same-day appointments for patients, and even offer walk-in availability. Remember, we have highly trained providers and staff at all three of our locations, and you can even schedule appointments online through our website.

To our patients who are students: we wish you all the best as you begin this new school year! We hope that your education brings you even closer to fulfilling all your hopes and dreams! To our patients who are parents: we know raising children is so tough! We wish you perseverance and wisdom as you head into this next school year with your child. We hope you find the joy of watching your young one grow even more into the amazing human they are!

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