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As Classes Resume, Some Health Tips From the CDC

FRIDAY, Aug. 27, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- Students face a number of challenges as they head back to school this fall -- from potential exposure to COVID-19 and other illnesses to injuries on the playing field.

"This return to school season is like no other," said Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "Schools must be prepared to protect children from COVID-19, while also addressing a wide array of other pandemic-related challenges returning students are facing."

The CDC has specific COVID-19 guidance for K-12 schoolchildren as well as people ages 18 to 24.

Besides keeping students safe from COVID, adults "will need to provide safe and supportive school environments to promote student well-being and recovery," Walensky said in a CDC news release.

The pandemic has caused significant stress for kids and their families. Educators can help students' well-being by creating safe and supportive school environments and referring kids to appropriate mental and physical health services as needed, according to the agency.

It offered the following return-to-school general health tips:

  • Vaccinate: Routine vaccines save lives. Making sure children get required vaccines is among the most important things parents can do to protect their health.

  • Lather up: Washing hands with soap and water is one of the best ways to remove germs, avoid illness and prevent the spread of colds, flu and other diseases.

  • Adopt a healthy habits: Kids should drink plenty of water, limit sugary beverages, and eat healthy at home and school. They also need an hour or more of daily physical activity, and a good night's sleep. Teens need at least eight hours of shut-eye, and younger students, at least nine.

  • Don't smoke or vape: Avoid any tobacco use. Nicotine is highly addictive and can harm a young person's developing brain, specifically the areas involved in learning, memory and attention, the CDC said.

  • Be cool: Limit outdoor activity during the middle of the day when the sun is hottest. Wear and reapply sunscreen, seek shade, drink plenty of water, and know how to prevent heat-related illness.

Healthy students are better learners, and the CDC says following these health tips can help students have a successful school year.

More information

The American Academy of Pediatrics offers a range of resources on school.

SOURCE: U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, news release, Aug. 23, 2021

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