WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – School is back, but so are worries about stuffy noses, sick days, and in the first months, cold weather.
WFMY News 2 Digital Reporter spoke to Dr. Soren Johnson from Novant Health Robinhood Pediatrics about ways to ensure a good start to the spring semester. Here’s a list of things he recommends:
- Make sure your child is back in a regular rhythm with their sleep:
Johnson recommends having children go to sleep and wake up at a regular hour every day and to help them transition back into the school-day routine. He says that your body needs a to get used to its circadian rhythm so that it functions properly. “Consistent bedtime is key,” Johnson said. The best way to ensure this is to start the routine a few days before school kicks off.
- Get refills ahead of time and get a checkup if you have any concerns
“If your kid has any medications they might need refills on before the semester starts, and if there’s any kind of lingering issues about things that are on your mind academically, or health-wise, it’s a good time to get a checkup,” Johnson recommended.
- Get your shots and keep things clean
Johnson says that the months of January and February are peak flu season and that if your child doesn’t have their flu shot, they should get one now.
Another way to prevent winter weather illnesses is by keeping things clean. “Cold weather makes people more susceptible to catching illnesses, in addition, we spend more time indoors so there’s more transmission or swapping of germs back and forth, so lots of good hand-washing, it’s good to encourage kids to do that,” Johnson said.
- When it’s cold, keep them warm
“Make sure they’re dressing appropriately, you know, bundling up. Specifically, the younger kids, you want to be sure they have their gloves on,” Johnson said.
Although kids don’t go outdoors for recess when it’s too cold, Johnson recommends keeping extra layers in kids’ backpacks for when they do go outside in the early months of the semester.
He explains that older and younger bodies have a harder time regulating their temperature.
- Questions about your child’s health?
If parents have any pediatric health questions, Johnson recommends visiting healhychildren.org published by the American Academy of Pediatrics, for resources.
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