JANUARY 22, 2018

My nephew (pictured) in QLD had his first day of big school today and the rest of the country’s children start back over the next two weeks so it’s a good time to look at making a healthy start back.

There are a plethora of websites and Facebook pages with recipes for healthy school lunches and snacks so I will not even attempt to discuss healthy eating! I like The Healthy Mummy for healthy and easy recipes.

Staying hydrated is very important at this time of year. Buy a drink bottle that will hold enough water for your child’s day at school and let them know that is how much they should drink. I have a child who forgets to drink so I remind her every day to have the contents of the bottle. She likes to tell me that she drank from the bubbler so I tell her that’s fine but the drink bottle still needs to be emptied!

Water is obviously best. Cordial and juice contain a lot of sugar regardless of whether it is natural sugar or not as do flavoured milks.

Staying safe in the sun is something we are all familiar with and all schools now have school hats as part of the uniform and a “no hat, no play” policy. Applying sunscreen is still important especially to the arms, backs of hands, neck, chest, ears and face. Using a zinc sunscreen is best such as MiEssence Reflect Outdoor Balm, Billie Goat Soap Sunscreen or Little Urchin Natural Sunscreen. See my sunscreen article to read more on this.

Hopefully these little guys died out over the summer and won’t make a comeback for a while but it is still best to be prepared.

Tie long hair back, which is usually a school requirement anyway). I prefer a plaited ponytail for girls as there is less hair flying around to come in to contact with lice.
Spray hair with hair spray or one of the commercially available or self-made essential to your child’s hair.
It seems that lice prefer clean hair however this is not always desirable! I prefer to just tie hair back!
Make sure hats are labelled clearly with your child’s name so that hats are not worn by the wrong child which can transmit lice.

It is not necessary or recommended to use a treatment to prevent worms. Treatment is only needed if worms are found or suspected. Read more about worms.

Good hygiene is generally the best way to prevent worm transmission.

Handwashing before eating and after using the toilet is the most important prevention technique. It’s a good idea to remind even older children as they start back at school.
Keep fingernails short to prevent eggs from being picked up and then transferred.

If your child has asthma make sure their school has a copy of their asthma action plan and that their inhaler prescription is renewed and inhalers are labelled correctly. Read more about asthma medications here.

A lot of children stay up a bit later in the holidays particularly if they do not have to get up early in the mornings. I find that I begin to reign in my children’s bedtimes starting about a week before the back to school day so that they are going to bed at school bedtimes for a few nights before school starts.

We have a “no technology” rule in the last hour before bed to reduce stimulation and sleep troubles. My children are allowed to watch some tv and then read in this time. There is always one who tries to push the limit but this just results in a reduced technology time the next day!