11 Ways to Keep Kids Healthy During the School Year

Best tips for keeping kids healthy at school and at home

School is many things—a place where kids learn and grow cognitively, develop social skills, and become in independent individuals. It can also, alas, be a place where they pick up germs and illnesses, and bring them home.

At school, children spend a lot of time in classrooms, where they can easily transfer infections to one another. But by teaching kids some important healthy habits, parents can help make school and health a priority during the school year. Here are some great tips on how to stay healthy in school.

Teach your child about proper hand washing.

Taking our hygiene seriously
Abel Mitja Varela/Vetta/Getty Images

Hand washing is one of the most important ways we can prevent the spread of illness in the classroom and elsewhere. By teaching your child how to wash her hands properly—and to especially wash after blowing her nose and using the bathroom and before eating—you can help your child reduce the risk of getting sick, and help her from infecting others if she catches an infection or illness.

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Boost your family's immune system health.

Immune system health - Kids making smoothie with fruit
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Keeping your child's immune system strong is an important way to stay healthy and ward off illness during the school year. With these helpful tips, you can help reduce your child's rrisk of getting colds, flu, and other infections.

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Teach your child the 5 healthy habits to prevent cold and flu.

Girl covering sneeze

Does your child know the important healthy habits to prevent colds, flu, and other infections? Healthy habits such as remembering not to keep touching their eyes or refraining from sharing cups and utensils with friends will be important school health habits.

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Set good sleep habits in your child.

boy sleeping in bed - kids' sleep problems
A bedroom that's too warm can cause kids' sleep problems. Tetra Images/Daniel Grill/ Getty Images

Making sure your child gets enough sleep is a crucial part of keeping your child healthy. Sleep is important not only for a child's physical and emotional health, but can play an important role in how well she does in school.

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Be on the lookout for anxiety or stress in your child.

mom comforting girl with stomachache, stress
Stomachaches can sometimes be a sign of stress and anxiety in kids. KidStock/Getty Images

Homework, tests, social pressures—kids can face a lot of stressful situations every day. Research shows that stress and anxiety can have a negative impact on kids' health, just like it can on the health of adults. Find out how to spot the symptoms of stress in your child and find ways to manage her anxiety.

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Give your child a brain-boosting healthy breakfast.

Getty Images/ONOKY - Eric Audras

Breakfast really is the most important meal of the day when it comes to schoolkids. A balanced breakfast of lowfat protein and complex carbohydrates has been shown to be important for brain function as well as for maintaing a steady level of energy throughout the day.

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Make kids' school lunch boxes fun.

school lunch box ideas - mother and daughters packing lunch box
Letting kids help pack a school lunch box is one way to make lunch more attractive for kids. Hero Images/Getty Images

Make lunches more fun and enticing with these ideas for yummy main dishes and sides dressed up in colorful combinations and shapes. There's even a suggestion for a healthy Asian bento lunch box!

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Jazz up healthy combos in the school lunchbox.

school lunch box ideas
Easy and delicious school lunch box ideas for back to school and beyond. KidStock/Getty Images

Add a little flair and flavor to your child's school lunches with these ideas for healthy lunches. With these tips and tricks, your child just may eat his veggies!

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Give your child healthy after-school snacks.

boys eating vegetables with dip
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Kids are often ravenous after school. But you don't have to sacrifice good nutrition for convenience with these ideas for quick, easy, and healthy after-school snacks

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Choose the right school backpack to keep back pain at bay

children in class with school backpacks
Having the wrong size school backpack and using a backpack incorrectly can lead to back pain in children. JGI/Jamie Grill/Getty Images

School backpacks today are heavier than ever, and using the wrong type of backpack and wearing it incorrectly can lead to back pain in kids. Make sure you prevent back problems in your child by following these tips for choosing and using backpacks correctly.

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Learn about head lice prevention, symptoms and treatment

head lice
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As much as we don't want to think about head lice, the fact is that it is a common problem among school-age kids. Children are in close contact at school, and more likely to share blankets or other personal items. Learn the facts and myths about head lice and how to help your kids steer clear of this annoying yet common problem at school.

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