GULF BREEZE, Fla. -- Kids soon head back to school for the start of another year. In addition to all of the supplies children need to succeed, making sure they have a healthy school year is just as important.
“The start of a new school year is exciting, but it can also be a little scary for some children,” said Jessica Tate, MD, a pediatrician with Sacred Heart Medical Group Pediatric Care Center at Gulf Breeze. “Children can be more exposed to germs from other school kids. But by having our kids take some basic steps now, they can stay healthier throughout the school year.”
Dr. Tate recommends these tips to help your child stay healthy.
- Wash away the germs. Encourage your child to wash their hands often. Whether it's soap and water or hand sanitizer, clean hands go a long way in reducing the spread of germs and infectious diseases.
- Don't skip the shots. Before your child walks into the classroom, make sure their immunizations are up to date. And don't forget about the flu. It is recommended that all school-age children get the flu vaccine, unless they have an allergy to the vaccine or a health problem that will cause complications from the vaccine.
- Visit the doctor. A check-up is a great way to make sure your child’s school year gets off to a healthy start. It's also an opportunity to get a physical for your child, which is usually required for kids who will be playing a sport.
- Getting sleep schedules back on track. Before they head back to classroom, get your kids back on their school year sleep schedule. Start readjusting bedtimes several days out so children are hitting the pillow earlier. And encourage them to cut back on playing games and watching their favorite programs in the evening.
- Good food = good health. A healthy diet is the fuel children need to succeed in the classroom. Make sure you child is eating whole grains, fruits, vegetables, lean meats and foods low that are low in fat and rich in protein, such as fish, eggs and beans.
Sacred Heart’s Pediatric Care Center at Gulf Breeze is located at 15 Daniel Drive. To speak with a Sacred Heart Medical Group pediatrician about getting your child off to a healthy start this school year, please call 850-932-5348.
Sacred Heart Medical Group offers the largest network of primary care and specialty physicians in Northwest Florida, with more than 80 locations and 300 providers along the Gulf Coast from Gulf Shores, Ala., to Apalachicola, Fla. We have physicians in more than 25 specialties, ready to provide personalized compassionate care to people of all ages. The Medical Group is supported by the hospitals and resources of Sacred Heart Health System. To find a physician and request an appointment, call 850-416-2337 or visit sacredheartmedicalgroup.com.