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Island Health releases back to school health tips

School is starting up again and Island Health has released simple tips on keeping students healthy. 

The health authority says it’s as simple as A-B-C.

Avoid spreading and catching germs:

Back to school can mean back to bugs and germs. Island Health says one of the best ways to avoid getting sick with colds and flus is hand washing. Soap and water is best, but hand sanitizers can also do the trick if there’s no soap. 

Children should wash their hands before and after eating, after bathroom trips, after gym class, after playing outdoors, after playing with pets, and as soon as they get home. 

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Island Health also advises parents and guardians to make sure students are up to date with their immunizations. 

Boost nutrition:

Pack healthy, nutritious and healthy snacks for the kids. This helps give them the energy and nutrients they need to support their learning and activity throughout the day. 

Water bottles are also key to help keep children hydrated. 

Some healthy lunch and snack options can include:

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  • Lean protein
  • Low-fat milk, plain yogurt and cheese
  • Fresh fruit
  • Vegetables and dip (to help keep the vegetables interesting)
  • Granola bars
  • Whole grain foods like bread, crackers, tortilla, naan or mini pitas

For more information and tips on healthy meals and snacks, take a quick look at Canada’s Food Guide.

Create a safe environment:

Teach kids how to keep themselves safe and avoid serious injury as they become more and more independent. 

Some ways to teach kids to avoid risky behaviour can include the following:

  • Identify the safest walking or cycling routes to and from school
  • Wear helmets when biking
  • Travel in groups so kids are more visible to drivers
  • If you’re driving, make sure everyone is wearing a seat belt and obey school speed zones
  • Talk to your children about safety risks and teach them how to make safe choices
  • Provide younger children with first aid basics, swimming lessons and outdoor education to help them learn

For more healthy back to school tips, visit Island Health’s Healthy Schools page

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