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Back To School Tips For Healthy Kids


Tomorrow is the first day of June, and for most of the country, it’ll be but a few days before classes start anew. Parents are most likely in a flurry of buying books, having uniforms done, and procuring their children’s school accessories, that a few things could be forgotten in the hustle and bustle. Hopefully, one of those “few things” wouldn’t need to be the kids’ health.


As our back-to-school note from us here at PinoyDoctor.com, here are three health tips for parents on a quest to get their kids in tip top shape in time for school:


1. Vaccinate. Are your children’s shots updated? It’s time to check, now. Parents with children ages 7-18 should get these specific vaccinations for their children within that age range:

Mandatory:

  • Flu Vaccines: Yearly
  • Tetanus/Diphtheria/Pertussis: Once between 11 to 12 years old
  • HPV (Human Papillomavirus): Two-shot series for children between 11 to 12 years old, 3-shot series for children age 15 and older
  • Meningococcal ACWY: Once between 11 to 12 years old, booster shot at age 16 for Meningococcal B

Optional:

  • Hepatitis A
  • Hepatitis B
  • Inactivated Polio
  • Measles, Mumps, Rubella
  • Chickenpox

For Children With Immunocompromised Conditions:

  • Pneumococcal


This list of immunization shots and schedules can be downloaded from the CDC website, on this specific file. Alternatively, a 2017 Recommended Immunization Schedule file can be found here. The DOH may have different recommendations, and their 2016 Childhood Immunization Schedule pamphlet can be found here.


Vaccinations are important to protect your children from otherwise preventable diseases, so take note of these immunization schedules and make an appointment to see your pedia or GP within the next couple of weeks. The DOH also provides free vaccinations in schools, but as a vigilant parent, it’s always a good touch to take control of your child’s health.

2. Sleep Hygiene. In a 2013 report about back-to-school health tips, former Department of Health (DOH) assistant secretary and spokesperson and current Bureau of Local Health Development chief Dr. Eric Tayag was quoted as saying: “Hinayaan niyong mapuyat ang mga bata ngayong summer, eh sa Lunes maagang papasok. Sanayin niyo nang matulog ng maaga.”


The quote may sound blunt and curt, but it’s pretty true. Filipino parents tend to relax rules during the summer, which may lead to upset regular routines for the children. While it would be a stretch to exhort parents to remain strict throughout the year, it would be a good measure to encourage your children to sleep at 10PM starting today. Remember that it takes 2 weeks to form a new habit, and it would have been better for parents to readjust their children’s schedules a good two weeks before school opens, but now is a good time to start as any.


Children and teens are rather stressed in this day and age, and one bedrock to keep them well would be to encourage them to have an average of 8 hours of sleep every night.


3. Prevention Is Better Than Cure. Two of the simplest things that a parent can do to protect their children from diseases is to teach them how to:

  • Eat healthy food.
  • Wash hands, constantly.


The common cold has no vaccine and cure, but the one thing prevents its transmission and acquisition is frequent hand-washing. Teaching your child to wash hands frequently, as well as arming them with hand sanitizers and small bottles of ethyl alcohol are key to keeping them from catching colds.


As regards healthy food, a healthy diet is always the best foundation for keeping a child’s immune system strong. No matter what type of vitamins you give them, if they do not have a healthy diet, the essential nutrients will be missing from their bodies. So provide them with fresh meats, organic fruits and vegetables, as well as whole organic grains. Teach them to prefer colored rice, oatmeal and nutrient-dense grains. Try to stay away from buying sugar-laden cereals, as these are closer to junk food and could cause insulin resistance in your children.


Your child’s health is an investment in their future. Keep them happy and healthy, and you’ve set them for life. Cheers to your family’s back to school season!





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