The school year is back in session and the new school year can bring with it a host of ENT problems. During one academic year, students average eight to ten illnesses, according to the Center for Disease Control in Atlanta. For you and your child’s health it is vital that you practice healthy habits. While no method is foolproof, having healthy habits can help minimize your chances of illness.
There’s no better way to get your child to follow healthy habits than to follow them yourself. To help ensure you and your family remain healthy this school year, follow these simple back to school ENT tips.
1. Eat a Healthy Diet
You probably have heard of the term, “you are what you eat” and that couldn’t be truer. What you put into your body does have an effect on your overall health and will impact how you feel. If you eat junk, you will likely not feel well. Not properly nourishing your body can also make you more susceptible to illness, and it can make it more difficult for you to bounce back. To ensure you and your child stay healthy this school year, make sure you watch what you eat.
2. Stay Hydrated
Did you know that up to 65% of the human body is water? However, up to 75% of a child’s body is water. Water is a necessity, and the amount of water that you drink has a direct effect on how you feel. Staying hydrated can help you stay healthy by flushing out harmful toxins. Helping your body flush out toxins will help keep your organs working hard, and will help them do their job more efficiently. Also, staying hydrated will help provide a moist environment for ear, nose and throat issues.
3. Get Adequate Sleep
We need sleep, and while some of us can’t wait to go back to bed, others have problems falling asleep. Starting a new school year can throw off a child’s sleep schedule, so make sure to ease them into it. Educate your child on the importance of sleep, and make sure you follow your own advice! Research has shown that people perform better on memory tasks and can better retain information when they get adequate sleep. More importantly, it gives the body a chance to heal, restore and rejuvenate. If you want to win in the fight against viruses, you must get some rest.
4. Practice Good Hygienic Habits
While this may seem like a no-brainer, we cannot stress this enough. Keeping yourself and your surroundings clean can help protect you from catching a virus. Make sure that you and your children are washing your hands with warm water and soap. Ensure that your kids know that they must cover their mouth when squeezing or coughing, so they aren’t spreading germs to others. Also, regularly clean and sanitize your children’s toys and your living space.
5. Have an ENT Exam
Having an ENT checkup exam and an audiogram should be done annually. Otherwise, if your child suffers from chronic congestion, snores, has hearing problems, has a speech delay, has a limited attention span, or has other sinus symptoms it is important to see an otolaryngologist. With an ENT exam, conditions such as allergies, hearing loss, ear infections, and sleep apnea can be screened for and diagnosed. If your child has a cochlear implant or uses a hearing aid, have them checked during this time.
6. Talk to Your Child’s Teacher(s)
For a child with severe health issues, the beginning of the school year can be a scary time. Teachers and the school’s staff may not necessarily know your child and their needs. If your child has a severe condition, such as hearing loss or severe allergies, request to have a meeting with your child’s teacher and the school nurse. This way you can ask questions and inform them of your child’s condition, their medications, and your emergency care plan.