Back-to-school season is upon us again and amid the mad dash for backpacks, pencil cases and the rapidly approaching school bus, it’s easy to forget about the health concerns of going back to school.  It is also prime time for germs and bugs; an enormous number of children spend most of the day in close contact and touch a lot of shared surfaces (e.g. desks, chairs, doorknobs). The schedule changes brought on by going to school every day can heavily affect sleeping, eating, leisure and recreation time. We at AFC/ Doctors Express want to keep back-to-school season fun and healthy for everyone. Here are a few ways to keep your family healthy and happy year-round.

 

For younger kids

1.They need to wash their hands thoroughly and often.  Five seconds of soap and water isn’t much help; try teaching your kids to sing the ABCs or a similar short song while they wash their hands. That way, you know that they’ve washed their hands for a significant period of time.

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2.Have your children bring water bottles to school.  The water fountain is often the germiest place at school (and that includes the toilet seats!). After all, the bathrooms get cleaned frequently, but the water fountain doesn’t get much attention. By sending your kids to school with water bottles, you’re effectively saving them from the biggest germ risk possible.

3.And why not give them bottles of hand sanitizer? Your kid might not have the patience or the time to go wash his hands after he touches something icky, but he could squirt some hand sanitizer. Plus, you can even clip them to your kids’ backpacks!
 

For big kids and teenagers

1.Make sure they get enough sleep! Bedtime schedules are often more relaxed over the break, but kids in school need

2.Don’t forget physicals! Most schools require kids to get a physical examination done before they participate in school athletics. It’s an easy thing to forget about in the harried days of the back-to-school season, and then suddenly it’s “Mom! We need it by Friday!” AFC/ Doctors Express offers quick, hassle-free physicals and accepts walk-ins.

3.Stay active. The end of summer means long school days, homework, and less and less time for recreation. Fewer schools have recess, and more and more kids play video games. Moderate, regular exercise is essential to immune health, a good sleep cycle and proper development.

 

AFC/Doctors Express Urgent Care in South Plainfield is a state-of-the-art urgent care center open extended hours seven days a week.  Walk-ins are welcome, most insurance plans are accepted, and we offer a comprehensive suite of in-house services that include digital x-rays and on-site lab testing. All patients are treated by board-certified physicians and our wait times are comparatively short.  Visit us at 907 Oak Tree Avenue, Oak Park Commons (near the Super A&P) in South Plainfield or call us at 908-222-3500.  We’re open weekdays from 8am-8pm and weekends from 8am-5pm.