Summer is often a more laid-back time of the year, with no deadlines, no homework, and more daylight available for leisure activities. But with the summer vacations nearing the end, it is now time to rejoin school.

After a long and fun summer vacation, it’s time to get back into the swing of things – which for most parents includes getting their kids back into a routine. A big part of that routine is making sure your children are at their healthiest, which can be challenging after eating junk food and not getting enough sleep all summer long! Besides, parents need to ensure children are up to date with necessary vaccinations and health checks before they start school.

Here, are some simple yet effective tips on getting your children healthy post-summer vacay!

Reintroduce healthy eating habits

Reintroduce nutritious choices like fruits, vegetables, and unsweetened water to replace unhealthy snacks and sugary beverages. Be creative and try incorporating new healthy foods into their favourite meals like steamed broccoli in macaroni and cheese to help your kids develop a taste for nutritious food. A diet rich in fruits, veggies and healthy fats helps boost their immune system and keeps their energy levels high helping them stay focused and alert in school.  Also make sure that children have sufficient water throughout the day as water helps to flush out the toxins from the body and keeps it clean.

Ensure children get enough sleep

Getting kids back to a regular sleep routine after a long summer of late nights and lazy mornings can be challenging. Well, you do not need to rush into things, adapt small changes at a time. Establish a bedtime schedule to regularize the sleep-wake cycle.

A good night’s sleep is essential young and old alike. For children, it is all the more important as it is helpful for optimum growth of their mind and body. Besides, it helps them stay active and focused in school and boosts their immunity.

Staying up to date with vaccinations

Before your kids get back to school, ensure that they are up to date with necessary vaccinations and immunizations. Stay informed about the specific vaccinations recommended depending on the place you had travelled to.  

Common vaccines like tetanus, measles, mumps, rubella (MMR), diphtheria, and pertussis (Tdap), and seasonal flu shots are crucial to protect both your children and those around.

Screenings and health checks

Schedule a complete health check for children before they get back to school. This is particularly important in cases when you have been to a place with specific health risks or endemic diseases. A comprehensive health checkup will go a long way to help identify any potential health issues early on, and ensure that your children receive prompt treatment if needed.

Hygiene practices

Time and again, it is essential to restate the importance of good hygiene practices to children to prevent the spread of diseases. Some of the essential habits include regular washing of hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, avoid touching face and covering mouth and nose while coughing or sneezing.

Regular exercise

A regular dose of physical activity is equally important for your kids as healthy eating and getting sufficient sleep. Engaging in regular exercise is not only good for their health, but it also boosts the mood and enhances their immune response. Look for activities they enjoy, whether it is a sport or dance.

Mental health awareness

While parents do everything possible to ensure physical health of their kids, it is also essential to take care of their mental health. Returning to school after a long break can bring feelings of anxiety and stress for many children, especially if they are too young. Even for older kids, they might not be prepared to get into the routine of long hours of study. In such cases, maintain a strong network of friends, family or get in touch with a counsellor if needed. Make them practice stress reduction techniques like deep breathing and mindfulness.

As parents, do not forget to pay attention to your own health along with that of your children. If you come across any symptoms such as fever, cough, sore throat or difficulty breathing, get in touch with your healthcare provider sooner than later. If you are down with an illness, your children are the first to get infected.

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