A Is for Attendance Missing School Can Impact Childrens Future Health

school attendanceThe occasional day spent home from school due to a cold or other illness is to be expected. You might be surprised, though, at how quickly missed school days can add up.

Frequent absenteeism puts kids at risk for poor grades, dropping out of school, and unhealthy behaviors as teens and young adults that could put their health on the line down the road. Fortunately, there’s a lot you can do to make sure your child shows up to school as often as possible.

Help them stay well. Practicing good hand hygiene is one of the most important things your kids can do to avoid getting sick. Encourage kids to wash their hands with soap and water throughout the day, including before eating, after using the toilet, and after coughing, sneezing, or blowing their nose. If soap and water aren’t available, they can use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer to help kill germs. In addition, make sure that your child is up to date on all his or her vaccinations, including a yearly flu shot.

Only keep your child home when necessary. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, acceptable reasons for missing school include a temperature higher than 101 degrees, vomiting, diarrhea, a bad cough, or a toothache. If your child frequently complains of a stomachache or headache, talk with a pediatrician. These could be signs of anxiety rather than a physical illness.

Encourage good sleep habits. Kids who don’t get enough sleep tend to miss more school and get lower grades. Try to maintain a regular pre-bed routine and bedtime, encourage kids to be physically active during the day, and shut down all screens at least an hour before bed.

 

Healthy Strategies That Make the Grade

As a parent, you want your children to get the most out of their school years. And they will, with healthy habits you and their pediatrician can help build now! Visit our easy-to-use online service to find a pediatrician who’s just right for your family.