As the remaining days of summer end and a new school year begins, HSHS Good Shepherd Hospital reminds parents that it is time to prepare their child for the new school year ahead.
Good Shepherd recommends the following back to school health tips to ensure a safe and healthy school year:
Make sure your child is up-to-date on all vaccinations. Review your child's shot records and make sure that he/she is up-to-date on all shots before heading back to school. Preteens and teens require the Tdap vaccine to protect against tetanus, diphtheria and whooping cough – among other immunizations. All children going back too primary, secondary or college, should be vaccinated accordingly to protect from infectious diseases such as meningitis. And, don’t forget to schedule a flu shot later in the year for children.
Obtain a physical. School and sports physicals are an important part of each school year, even if they are not mandated by the school. Yearly physicals enable your health care provider to monitor growth and development, update immunizations, determine risks for sports participation, and discuss safety issues.
Handwashing. Before your child goes back to school make sure he/she understands the importance of proper handwashing. Soap and water can do wonders in reducing your child's risk of illness while at school. A child should wash his/her hands properly before eating and after using the restroom.
Backpack safety. Choose a backpack with wide shoulder straps and make sure your child uses both straps evenly across the back. Good Shepherd’s rehabilitation manager, Tonya Bowrey, reminds parents that having all the weight over one shoulder can lead to muscle strain. Children should always have straps over both shoulders. She also advises to pack the bags lightly. A backpack should never weigh more than 10 to 20 percent of a child’s body weight.
Eat a healthy lunch. Most schools send school cafeteria menus home enabling you to plan your child’s lunches in advance. Pack a nutritious lunch on days your child prefers not to eat the school’s main course. Go over the menu with your child and discuss the nutritional value of what is being offered. Steer them away from soda and dessert and toward low-fat milk and fresh fruit.
Get plenty of sleep. Make sure your child is getting an adequate amount of sleep at night to help aid in their overall health.
For more information on back to school health please visit www.cdc.gov/family/kids/
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About HSHS Good Shepherd Hospital
Since its inception in 1916, HSHS Good Shepherd Hospital in Shelbyville (GSS) has been dedicated to excellence in healthcare for those living and visiting their communities. GSS has accomplished this by providing comprehensive health services and meeting the needs of patients served through their compassionate care, business integrity and community responsibility. GSS provides a 24/7 emergency department that is fully staffed by physicians and highly-trained nurses, and also features inpatient and outpatient services, including a 24-hour laboratory and an imaging department that meets today’s highest standards for diagnostic imaging technology. GSS has an advanced surgery department and an acute inpatient care unit. Dedicated to being a hometown hospital, GSS’ home health and rehabilitation departments are committed to excellence with a team of professional nurses and therapists providing a variety of medical services and rehabilitative therapies, all designed to help patients heal in their own environment. The group of visiting specialists in the outpatient clinic works closely with GSS to help keep the healthcare services local even if a specialized procedure or exam is required. GSS strives to be the first choice for the community’s healthcare needs. For more information about HSHS Good Shepherd Hospital, visit www.hshsgoodshepherd.org/.
About Hospital Sisters Health System
Hospital Sisters Health System’s (HSHS) mission is to reveal and embody Christ’s healing love for all people through our high-quality Franciscan health care ministry. HSHS provides state-of-the-art health care to our patients and is dedicated to serving all people, especially the most vulnerable, at each of our 15 local systems and physician practices in Illinois (Breese, Decatur, Effingham, Greenville, Highland, Litchfield, O’Fallon, Shelbyville and Springfield) and Wisconsin (Chippewa Falls, Eau Claire, Oconto Falls, Sheboygan and two in Green Bay). HSHS is sponsored by Hospital Sisters Ministries, and Hospital Sisters of St. Francis is the founding institute. For more information about HSHS, visit www.hshs.org/. For more information about Hospital Sisters of St. Francis, visit www.hospitalsisters.org/.