As the vacation season draws to a close, the excitement of returning to school begins to build in both children and parents. Amid the hustle and bustle of gathering school supplies and ensuring uniforms still fit, it’s vital not to overlook the health and wellness of our young learners. The paediatric doctors at various Aster Clinics across the UAE offer insightful advice on the health concerns that parents should be aware of before sending their kids back to school.
Right nutrition: Dr Vedavathi K, a Specialist Paediatrician at Aster Clinic, Muteena & Qusais, underscores the importance of providing children with a balanced and nourishing diet. Their plates should be filled with whole foods including grains, vegetables, fruits, dairy, and pulses. She recommends maintaining food charts for parental convenience and minimising the intake of fast foods and junk food.
Minimise screen time: In this digital age, it’s crucial to manage children’s screen time. Parents should initiate reading habits or indoor activities and gradually reduce their screen time. This will aid in adjusting to the school routine and improve focus on studies.
Sleep hygiene: A good sleep routine is essential for a child’s cognitive development and overall well-being. Ensuring your child gets 6-8 hours of restful sleep supports learning retention and active participation in school activities.
Dental hygiene: It is very important to maintain good oral health to prevent dental issues. Brushing teeth twice daily, rinsing after consuming sweets and chocolates, and regular dental check-ups are key to preventing caries and promoting oral hygiene.
Skin care routine: Alongside the daily use of sunscreen, incorporating a good moisturiser and mild soaps into a skin care routine can help prevent dry skin and related problems.
Deworming: It is recommended to deworm before sending kids to school, as it helps decrease anaemia and other nutritional deficiencies caused by helminths.
Dr Viswasri Vijayaraj, a Specialist Paediatrician at Aster Clinic, Al Khail Mall, Al Quoz, says as the flu season is approaching, giving your child the flu vaccine is the best way to protect them from the flu and its complications. All children six months and older must get an annual flu shot to stay protected throughout the season. After the vaccination, It takes about two weeks for your child’s body to develop protection against the virus. So, please ensure you vaccinate your child well in advance to protect them and your family.
Addressing common health issues
Dr Ashok Kumar Verma, a Specialist Paediatrician at Aster Clinic RAK, highlights common health issues that parents need to address. These range from malnutrition and obesity to repeated respiratory infections, psychological issues, and more. He provides solutions such as maintaining a balanced diet, preventive therapies, prompt paediatric consultation during illness, and timely vaccinations.
Dr Ashok Kumar Verma
Dr Priyanka Mehta, a Specialist Paediatrician at Aster Royal Clinic, Downtown Dubai, addresses common health issues that arise as children enter the school environment. She emphasises preventive measures such as teaching hygiene practices, promoting getting vaccinated, providing a balanced diet, and ensuring safety during physical activities.
Preventing health issues: Insights from paediatricians
Dr Atul Rane, a Specialist Paediatrician at Aster Clinic Bur Dubai (AJMC), provides valuable advice for parents as children return to school. He emphasises that children should be free from active infections or symptoms before joining school to prevent the spread of illness to their peers. Additionally, Dr Rane highlights the significance of flu vaccination, especially for high-risk groups, to safeguard children’s health during the upcoming winter season.
Dr Tania Habib Mundol, a Specialist Paediatrician at Aster Clinic International City (Russia Cluster), shares practical tips for parents as the school year resumes. “Reset children’s biological clocks to fit the school schedule before school reopens; prepare a healthy menu for the whole school week; ensure that your child learns to stay hydrated and drinks adequate amount of water throughout the school day and also after they return home; try and limit junk foods; have a check list ready for the kids to ensure that the day runs smoothly; ensure your child is potty trained before they go to school; and don’t forget to take the yearly influenza vaccine for the whole family.”
As children gear up for another exciting academic year, it’s crucial for parents to prioritise their health and wellness. The insights provided by these expert paediatricians offer a comprehensive guide to ensuring a smooth and healthy transition back to school. From proper nutrition and sleep hygiene to vaccination and hygiene practices, these measures collectively contribute to a thriving school experience for children. By taking proactive steps and staying informed, parents can provide their children with the best foundation for success in both health and academics.
For more information or to book your comprehensive back to school health package call 04 440 0500.