5 ways to send a healthy child back to school - MyFoxAustin.com | KTBC Fox 7 | News, Weather, Sports

5 ways to send a healthy child back to school

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(WJBK) - Detroit MinuteClinic nurse practitioner May Hang has five tips for sending your child back to school healthy.

1: Determine if your child needs a physical before the new school year

A pre-school physical provides an overall assessment of your child's physical condition and helps to make sure he or she is not at risk for illness or injury. A physical will also help to determine if your child is able to participate in school sports programs or fall athletic leagues.

Also, if you have a college freshman, many colleges require a physical prior to the first day of class so be sure to check the admission requirements.

Seek advice from medical professionals about proper hydration for your child based on their health/condition. Generally, children should:
Drink 12 oz. of water prior to practice
9 oz. every 20 minutes during practice and in the first hour after practice
Cold water is best choice before/during practice.
Sports drinks work well after practice to replace electrolytes.

2: Make sure your child is up to date on vaccination requirements in the state of Michigan

There's a good chance your middle and high schoolers may need a vaccine or booster.

Students entering 7th grade are required to get a Tdap booster (tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis or whooping cough) and a meningitis vaccine. We offer these vaccinations at all MinuteClinic locations inside 14 select CVS/pharmacy stores in the Detroit area.

3: Consult with your child's school or school nurse about what prescription and over-the-counter medicines they can bring in their backpack to school

Regulations vary widely between schools, about medications like aspirin, cold capsules, cough medicine, anti-inflammatories and even hand sanitizer. Make arrangements with the school nurse in advance, especially if your child takes a prescription that could be an issue.

4: Discuss good hygiene with your child

Remind your children about washing hands often; this reduces the risk of germs spreading.

If your kids participate in sports or carry a water bottle to class, make sure they have their own bottle and do not share with team members or classmates. That's how viruses, the flu and diseases like meningitis can spread rapidly.

Make sure they know not to share towels in the locker room. There are serious staph infections like MRSA that can be contracted and spread simply by sharing towels with teammates.

5: Remind your student about the importance of sunscreen

Even though kids will be back in class, instead of out at the pool, sunscreen is important. During gym class or team practice, students are likely outside in short sleeves and shorts. So making sure your child applies sun care is important.

You want to look for sunscreen products that are labeled "Broad Spectrum." Broad spectrum prevents against both UVA and UVB rays.  They are the only products that can reduce the risk of skin cancer and early skin aging.

We recommend an SPF of 30 which blocks 97% of UVB rays. An SPF of 50 only provides an additional 1-2% of protection and anything higher is not needed.

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