Going back to school can be an exciting time for children (and parents!), as they get to see their friends and teachers again, participate in their favourite activities, and learn new things. However, it can also be a challenging transition, especially after a period of remote learning or if they are transitioning from daycare to primary school or to secondary school. They may feel anxious or nervous about returning to a new routine. As we get our kids’ uniforms, textbooks and stationery ready, preparing for a healthy back to school plan is also one to add to the list.
Here are 11 tips that you can do to help prepare your children for a healthy return to school:
- Encourage your child to eat a variety of healthy foods, such as fruits, vegetables and proteins, to help boost their immune system.
- Talk to your child: Encourage open communication with your child about their concerns or anxieties about their first day at school or returning to school.
- Encourage physical activity: Encourage your child to get plenty of physical activity during the school day, whether through recess, PE class, or after-school sports or activities.
- Set a consistent routine: Establish a routine for the school day, including a consistent wake-up time, meal times and bedtime, to help your child get into a healthy and productive routine.
- Discuss with your child the importance of washing their hands frequently, covering their mouth and nose when they cough or sneeze.
- Consider purchasing hand sanitisers and face masks for your child to use at school. There are even hand sanitisers with clips and face masks with unique patterns and designs that could make using them fun, provided the school allows them.
- Encourage mask-wearing: If masks are required at school, make sure your child has a clean, properly fitting mask to wear.
- If your child has any underlying health conditions, make sure they have a plan in place with their doctor to manage their condition and treatment while at school.
- Stay up to date on the school's policies: Make sure you understand the school's policies for COVID-19 symptoms, management and prevention, including any requirements for testing or quarantine.
- Take a trip to your doctor’s clinic for a general health check – If you’re wondering what a general health check involves, refer to the Healthy Start for School Government site for more information.
- Make sure your child is up to date on all vaccinations by reading the recommendations from the National Immunisation Program.
Remember to talk to your doctor about any of these points - signing off for now!