Doctors offer five back-to-school tips to keep your kids healthy

MECHANICSBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – Kids in Central Pennsylvania recently went back to school, or they will soon.

Doctors say you should plan for more than their homework or after-school activities. It’s important to take steps to keep your children from getting sick. They say viral illnesses and pink eye are common for kids heading back to the classroom.

Brian and Carey Kint threw a pool party for their boys Sunday under the watchful eye of their Border Collie Bailey.

“He actually loves the bell peppers, and he loves the carrots,” Carey Kint said as she cut vegetables and fruit.

The Kints threw a pool party as their boys head back to school.

Carey knows the importance of good nutrition as her 12-year-old son Connor and 14-year-old son Colby begin the school year. Her son Matthew is a competitive swimmer in college.

“The first thing I do is make sure they have all their shots and immunizations up to date, which I do every year before the school year starts,” Carey said.

Making sure your kids are up to date on shots is the first tip from those at Patient First in Mechanicsburg. The second tip is to make sure they get a physical.

“They’ll also make sure that simple things like hearing and vision are checked, which are important for a successful school year,” said Rebekah Wickenheiser, physician assistant at Patient First.

“At least our boys, they need lots of sleep. I know that keeps them healthy or healthier,” Carey said. “The other thing too is just to make sure that they know to wash their hands a lot, especially in school.”

“If you’re going to cough or sneeze, make sure you have a tissue or something to cover your cough with. If it’s not available, then use your elbow to cough or sneeze into your elbow,” Wickenheiser said.

The fifth tip requires you to plan ahead.

“Have a plan for sick days,” Wickenheiser said. “Work that into your schedule, and have some people on call if your child were to get sick.”

“Part of it is being cognizant of how your kids are reacting, and if they are sick, don’t send them to school,” Brian Kint said.

The Kints are practicing all these health back-to-school tips so they can have many more pool parties to come.

Doctors also say to make sure your children use both straps on their backpacks and place the heaviest items near their bodies.

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