Round Rock ISD Director of Health Services, Elaine Douville, RN, BSN, NCSN, offers her top tips for student summer health.
Tips for sun safety:
- Broad Spectrum sunscreen of at least SPF 15 that blocks against both UVA and UVB rays.
- Apply golf ball size of sunscreen, 15 minutes before sun exposure.
- Reapply every 2 hours, after swimming and sweating.
- Use available shade.
- Wear protective clothing, wear hats and sunglasses.
Choose water and stay hydrated
There is no substitute for water; it’s the number one calorie-free, sugar-free thirst-quencher. Sugary drinks make up almost half of all added sugar in the average American’s diet. Replenish with eight 8 oz. glasses of water a day. Bonus tip* Add lemon, lime, cucumber or strawberry for a sweet taste.
Schedule check-ups and vaccinations
Cross annual student check-ups and vaccinations off your to-do list. When completed during the summer months, students can limit absenteeism from school during the school year. Don’t wait to make your appointment; school starts on Thursday, Aug 15.
Reduce exposure to mosquitos and ticks
Don’t let insects suck the fun out of summer. In addition to itchy and irritated skin, West Nile Virus and Lyme Disease are transmitted through insect bites. Use insect repellent, wear long-sleeve shirts and pants, treat clothing and gear, and take steps to control insects indoors and outdoors.
Shut off the TV, put down the electronic devices, and encourage kids and teens to be active for at least 60 minutes a day! Physical activities should increase the heart rate and improve muscle strength. There are plenty of fun and safe indoor and outdoor activities for kids to enjoy during the summer months. Playgrounds, sports fields, and neighborhood public swim clubs are great places to get kids moving without even realizing it!
Provide healthy meals & snacks
“I’m hungry.” Sound familiar? Fruit and vegetables make awesome snacks! Bagged grapes or carrot sticks are great for the pool and on the go. Make sure kids are getting the right balance of protein, carbs, and vegetables with each meal as well. Keep ice cream and other frozen treats to a minimum or for special occasions.
Protect children and avoid injuries
Wearing a properly fitting bike helmet can significantly reduce head injuries. Helmets or other protective gear should be worn when riding a bike, skateboard, scooter, in-line skates; even a bike with training wheels can tip over. Supervise children while swimming and using a trampoline.
Keep a set schedule
Sleep plays a vital role in overall health. The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) recommends 10-13 hrs of sleep a day for children between the ages of 3-5, 9-12 hrs of sleep per day for children between the ages of 6-12, 8-10 hrs for children between 13-18 and seven or more hours per night for adults.
During the summer months, it’s easy for children to develop crazy sleep schedules. Sticking to a routine can help with avoiding the grumpies and make the transition back to school a lot easier in August.