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The countdown to the first day of school has begun.

As we head into a new school year, the educational experience is sure to present new challenges for children and adolescents. Many children will be returning to in-person classrooms for the first time in more than a year, which may trigger both excitement and anxiety.

Consider these suggestions to help keep them healthy as they return to brick-and-mortar classrooms:

  1. Make sure they’re current on immunizations, especially COVID vaccinations for those 12 years and older. Kelsey-Seybold has free COVID vaccine available at all of our clinic locations. Have questions about the vaccine? We have answers. Visit our COVID-19 Resource Center here.

  2. Explain the need for social distancing. Demonstrate how they can judge a 6-foot measurement and remind them not to hug classmates. Advise them to give a friendly wave instead.

  3. Teach proper handwashing. They should lather up for at least 20 seconds. (Have them sing the “Happy Birthday” song twice while washing.)

  4. Encourage outdoor activities. Children between 6 and 17 years old should get at least an hour of moderate to vigorous activity every day. Aerobic and muscle strengthening exercises can help improve both emotional and physical wellbeing.

  5. Keep them home if they’re sick. Should your child exhibit a severe cough or a fever of 100.4 degrees or higher, consult a pediatrician without delay.