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SMDHU offers back to school tips to keep kids safe

September 8, 2022   ·   0 Comments

The kids are back in school meaning they are now in a congregate setting with many other people after spending a few months outdoors during the laid-back days of summer.

The Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit is offering tips to help keep kids and families healthy during the return to the school year.

While most COVID-19 public health measures have been lifted, COVID-19 is still circulating in the community.

The SMDHU advise everyone be vaccinated, use masks to slow the spread of the virus, and practice hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette.

The Health Unit works closely with school boards to promote a safe and healthy school environment.

When it comes to healthy eating at school, the Health Unit recommends a variety of vegetables and fruit while limiting foods and beverages with added sugar and those high in sodium and saturated fat.

Walking or wheeling to school rather than arriving by car, provides the benefits of physical activity. Studies show that the benefits of physical activity also supports brain development which can lead to improved learning and attention at school.

It is important to keep immunization records up-to-date. A school may ask about immunization records of offer certain school-based immunizations. Health Units are required by the province to collect and maintain up-to-date immunization records for all students.

It is important to maintain healthy teeth and eyes for over all good health.

Healthy Smiles Ontario is a free dental program for children and teens age 17 or younger who qualify. Children can get free preventive, basic, and emergency dental care if eligible based on family income, need for service, and meeting financial criteria.

It’s important also to have a conversation about vaping. Children may feel pressured to try vaping. Vaping is extremely addictive and will make people more likely to start smoking cigarettes or try other drugs.

Taking a few precautions and providing information will help kids have a successful and healthy school year.

By Brian Lockhart

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