McLaren Physician Offers Health Tips for Back-to-School Season

Author: McLaren Flint


The start of the school year is here, and in order to keep your child healthy, it is important to get them prepared for what’s to come.

Here are some health tips to keep in mind for this back-to-school season.

“Teach or remind your child how to perform proper handwashing. It is the best way to stop the spread of the viruses that are responsible for our colds,” said Uzma Khan, MD, a family medicine physician at McLaren Family Medicine Residency Group. “It’s important to have the proper techniques. Hand sanitizer needs to be rubbed into hands until it is dry.

“If hands are visibly dirty, apply soap and running water for 20 seconds. Singing ‘Twinkle Twinkle Little Star’ or ‘Happy Birthday’ will get you through those 20 seconds.”

The correct technique is crucial in preventing the spread of viruses. Handwashing is not the only thing that requires proper techniques. Teach your child to cover their coughs and sneezes with their elbows instead of their hands and immediately wash with soap and water when possible. When it comes to our health, prevention is better than a cure.

“Ensure that your child is up to date with all required vaccines,” said Dr. Khan. “We know that this is one of the best ways to protect our children. If you have questions about your child’s vaccine status, be sure to reach out to their primary care provider.”

A vital part of a child’s overall health and well-being is mental health. Mental health encompasses a child’s mental, emotional, and behavioral well-being. It affects the way they think, feel, and behave, as well as how they relate to others, deal with stress, and make healthy choices.

“Setting kids up for awareness about their own and others' mental and emotional health is important,” said Dr. Khan. “If we talk to our children about these things, they can learn feeling anxious, worried, sad, or mad is normal and part of the human experience. It can be as simple as just asking your child how their day went.”

Research shows healthy students are better learners. Scheduling a well-child exam with your child’s primary care physician can help you further prepare as they can give you tips and the health status of your child. Ensure your child eats well and is active. Additionally, limit their consumption of sugary drinks and make sure they are getting enough sleep.

Should you need a primary care physician for your child, the McLaren Flint Family Medicine Residency Practice can be reached by calling (810) 342-5656.