Back-to-School Health Tips for Your Child
If you have any kids heading back to school this summer, you may be worrying about their health – both in the classroom and on the soccer or football field.
In the Classroom
Tip #1: Wash Your Hands and Don’t Share Drinks
The most common illnesses that go around, like persistent coughing, congestion, sore throat, or mononucleosis, are spread through the respiratory tract. “Wash your hands before you touch your face or eat, and don’t share your drinks, which is the number one thing for teenagers,” Dr. Birkle points out.
Tip #2: Stay Home and See Your Doctor
“Certainly, if you feel like your child is ill, contact your family doctor,” Dr. Birkle explains. Common symptoms that would warrant keeping your child home and scheduling an appointment with your doctor include:
- Cough (persistent)
On the Field Safety
Tip #1: Stay Hydrated
If your child participates in school-affiliated sports, they need to stay hydrated – especially during the late summer and early fall months. The amount of water your child should drink depends on their size and sweat rate, but it’s important to drink plenty of water throughout the day in order to avoid an episode of dehydration later.
Avoid drinks containing caffeine, such as tea or soft drinks or “energy drinks,” because they cause the body to release water.
Tip #2: Watch for Repetitive Concussions
“If any head injury occurs, immediately evaluate the player for concussion with your coach or athletic trainer and see a sports medicine specialist if they have any concerns,” Dr. Birkle says. “Repetitive concussions, especially in football, need to be avoided. Soccer and football are also common activities involving head injuries.”
Signs and symptoms of a concussion include:
- Changes in mood
- Difficulty concentrating
- Feeling groggy
- Getting headaches
- Losing balance
- Vision problems
- Slower reaction times
Every parent should be aware of Lindsay’s law, a new Ohio law for 2017. Lindsay’s law addresses the need to be aware of the risk factors for Sudden Cardiac Death in young athletes.