Health Tips for Kids Going Back to School

As the kids get ready to go back to school, here are a few tips to help them have a healthy and happy start to the term.
• Walk to school, if possible as there are lots of benefits of daily exercise. It can help improve concentration and can increase self-confidence, and physical activity leads to stronger muscles and bones.
• Make sure your child gets plenty of sleep, as this is vital for their growth and development. Children aged 3 to 5 need between 10 and 13 hours each night, while children aged 6 to 13 need 9 to 11 hours every night. Set an age-appropriate bedtime and stick to it, even on weekends.
• Pack a healthy lunch for your child that is loaded with nutritious foods like cheese, fresh fruits and vegetables, yoghurt, whole grain crackers and sandwiches.
• Ease back-to-school nerves by making sure your child arrives on time and that you collect them on time. When children are late, it can increase anxiety. After school, spend some time chatting with your child and provide them with a healthy snack.
• Head lice are a common problem amongst kids, so tie back long hair and remind your child to avoid head-to-head contact with other children. Check their head regularly for any signs of these itchy pests.

Fun Oral Health Activities for Kids

Children learn through play, so try these fun dental activities that will teach them about oral care.
Tooth Necklace
Make a drawing of a tooth on cardboard, approximately 4 cm x 4 cm and use this as a template so children can make 20 teeth (children have 20 primary teeth) using brightly coloured paper. Take a child’s plastic needle and thread it with dental floss and show your child how to string the teeth into a necklace, securing the ends with a knot. Discuss why we need to floss our teeth.
Eat This but Avoid That
Cut out lots of photos of food from magazines, including healthy and unhealthy foods. Take two paper bags and draw a picture of a happy tooth on one and a sad tooth on the other. With your child, work out which foods should go in each bag and discuss why diet is important for healthy teeth.
Personalised Envelopes for the Tooth Fairy
As your child loses their milk teeth, they can personalise an envelope to leave out for the tooth fairy. Suggest they draw the tooth fairy and write a letter to include with their tooth, in return for a small gift!

Get Kids Excited about Tooth Brushing with an Incentive Chart

It’s challenging to try to get children to brush for longer than 30 seconds, let alone the full two minutes, and then there is the issue of getting them to brush at least twice a day! Making it into a fun activity can help considerably, so why not try an incentive chart?
Make a simple template on the computer with a space for your child’s name and list the days of the week below. Include a tick box to check they have brushed their teeth morning and night. Get your child involved in choosing the colours and design as you want to make it as fun and as interesting as possible. You can also find pre-made templates online. Once printed, the template can be placed in a glass frame, and you can use a dry-erase marker to fill it in each week. Alternatively, you can print out a fresh sheet every week so you can both look back and see how well your kid is doing.
Decide with your child on their reward, whether that’s with a special treat or activity after successfully checking all the tick boxes for the week.