Back to school – a time of the year usually greeted by parents with a mixture of stress and relief.
This year though, it’s far from business as usual and given the current circumstances, we need to be more prepared than ever to send our little ones back.
Maintaining good health and hygiene has never been more important, and below we’ll discuss how you and your kids can best prepare (physically and mentally!) for the new school term.
Follow government guidelines
The government has been providing regular updates with regard to what we should and shouldn’t be doing in order to stay safe during the pandemic.
Our faith is best placed in our country’s leading scientists to help us map a path through the current uncertainty.
The exact guidelines are always subject to change, so please keep a close eye on specific guidelines right up until the school term begins.
Children and social distancing
It’s been a strange 6 months for everyone, but it’s been especially confusing for children that may not fully understand what is going on.
The freedoms they previously enjoyed have been clamped down by restrictions, and it can be difficult to explain to them that it’s for their own safety and wellbeing.
They may have grasped the concept by now, but that could well fly out the window when they charge back into the playground following months of absence.
So before they go back, make sure they’re as mentally prepared as they can be. Clarify the government guidelines in a way they understand – use characters from stories they love or references to things they already understand to help make concepts like social distancing more concrete for them.
Preparing their immune systems
Keeping children’s immune systems strong is more important than ever – it’s not just the seasonal flu we’re trying to fend off this time.
Here are 4 simple rules for kids to follow to make sure they’re doing everything in their power to keep themselves healthy and safe:
Wash hands regularly
They’re likely very accustomed to this by now, but we need to ensure this doesn’t stop the when school life is resumed.
In fact, it’s going to be more important than ever, as the number of people they’re coming into contact with is going to increase.
As long as you make sure they’re washing their hands as they leave for school and on their return, schools should systems in place for making sure they clean them regularly throughout the day.
Get plenty of sleep
Sleeping plays an important role in keeping your immune system healthy.
While you sleep, your body’s immune system produces and releases proteins called cytokines. Cytokines target inflammation and infection, creating an immune response.
“The sleep council” recommends 10-12 hours sleep a night for 3-6-year-olds, 10-11 hours for 7-11-year-olds, and 8-9 hours for 12-18-year-olds.
Get at least 30-60 minutes of exercise
This one’s a little easier to control!
The lower the school age, the more likely they are to be running around on their school breaks.
The higher the school age, the more they understand that they need to aim for a specific amount of exercise – it might be a good time for them to join football, netball, dodgeball teams etc.
Eat a healthy diet
Packed with vitamins C and K, as well as folate, iron, calcium and so much more, it really is important to incorporate fruit and vegetables into as many meals as possible.
Plenty of fruit and vegetables will provide their immune systems with all the ammunition it needs to fight off sickness, as well as fuel them physically and mentally for whatever school life throws at them.
For a convenient, immune-boosting way to keep the kids healthy and your mind at rest, chuck a delicious turmeric shot into their lunchbox, and their natural defences will be on high-alert from the get-go!