It’s back to school next week for the final term of the school year! Time to start reminding our kids about sunscreen, hats, lunch boxes, stationery, hygiene and more! We hope our back to school basics help you and your little student have a smooth transition back this term.

Lunchbox wins

Attending school takes a large portion of a child’s day, which means the contents of their lunch box should aim to provide a large part of their daily nutritional intake. Packing their lunch and snack box is an opportunity to help their concentration and energy levels during the day. It also sets patterns for their future eating habits. Getting your child involved in packing their own lunch box and helping them select healthier choices will also encourage them to eat what’s been provided. Always ensure they have a fresh bottle of water and regularly clean their water bottle with soapy water.

Sun shiny days

Encourage your child’s sun sense awareness by choosing an appropriately sized tube of sunscreen together. Make sure you or they get in the habit of using sunscreen before they walk out the door particularly throughout Spring and Summer. You can even check UV levels daily by using a handy app like Weatherzone. A clip-on or key ring sunscreen is also handy because its visible and may help remind kids to use it during the day. Alternatively, ask them to find a good spot for it in their backpack, so they know exactly where to find it when needed. Make wearing a hat and applying sunscreen a normal and habitual part of going outside.

Happy hygiene

Children respond to modelled behaviour of personal hygiene standards. Encourage your child’s general hygiene awareness, and hand washing in particular, as regular practice. At school, they can come into contact with all sorts such as paint, glue, glitter during creative art sessions, germs from shared desks and chairs, dust, pollen and dirt in the play ground. Hand washing hygiene is also especially useful for children who experience hay fever as it may help reduce the spread of environmental allergens e.g. pollen and dust from surfaces and clothing to hands, faces or eyes.

A “Dusty” do

Unless your child has emulated Premiership player and multi award winning club champion, Dustin Martin, with a “Dusty Do”, it’s recommended that long hair be tied back during school hours. Spread by head to head contact, it’s virtually impossible to prevent head lice which makes regular and constant checking important. The “conditioner and comb” method of combing hair conditioner onto dry, detangled hair makes it difficult for lice to grip onto hair and is a technique that may help prevent the spread of lice.

Sniffles and sneezes

They’re just back at school and it seems like in less than a few days, they’ve already got the sniffles or sneezes! It can be difficult to distinguish between cold or hay fever symptoms, particularly with younger
children and those who already experience hay fever. By encouraging regular hand and nasal washing, you may help keep the sniffles at bay. Consider giving your child a saline nasal spray which they can use before leaving the house and include in their school backpack. Flo Kids or Flo Saline Plus are preservative-free nasal salines which wash away  airborne allergens and can assist clearing snotty noses by thinning mucus.

Encourage your kids to recognise their symptoms and to use their saline spray before they head out to the playground. Flo Kids is designed with ease in mind, so even prep year students can use it’s simple thumb drive pump which also sprays at any angle. For those children who experience hay fever, it’s important to help them get on top of their hay fever symptoms because they may impact their energy levels and learning (due to interrupted sleep patterns). If you’re not sure if your child has a cold or hay fever and their symptoms just don’t seem to be going away, we recommend you book in to see to their healthcare practitioner.

 

References and Resources:

Packing Healthy Lunches – Raising Children Network

Child Health and Wellbeing – Victorian State Government

Better Health Channel – Managing Headlice

 Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy – Hayfever and Sinusitis