Staying healthy at the start of the school year

By Ross Thompson, 5-mornings Lead Teacher

We’re all excited that another year has begun at the Lab School. It’s not uncommon for children to catch some kind of bug shortly after starting school, with all of the children arriving and we do our best to keep the environments clean by sanitizing toys and materials daily…but that only goes so far.

Washing hands is regular and frequent part of our days at school, and practicing at home. Other helpful reminders to keep children happy and healthy with the readjustment to the school schedule include being mindful about nutrition and meals – being at school uses a lot of energy! FUN FACT: turns out 4 year-olds use 66% of their caloric intake for brain grow and function – that’s the highest percentage of use over the lifespan! So it’s worth thinking about the meals and snacks provided, because your child is active for almost every minute of the 3 hour day at the Lab School – both physically and mentally…and socially, emotionally, and creatively, for that matter!

Related to that: rest and sleep. These growing bodies need time to recharge after all that playing, so naps and/or quiet times after school can help your child not only feel better, but also keep their immune systems strong!

Finally – and related to all of the above –  keeping a schedule/routine.  Predictable and regular schedules feel good to most (if not all) of us, and that’s very true for young children.  Setting and maintaining regular bedtimes (as well as meal schedules) help children’s natural circadian rhythms stay balanced, meaning their behaviors are more likely to stay balanced, too.