A healthy return to school is as easy as 1 – 2 – 3

Vancouver Island – Students are heading back to school in a week and Island Health wants to help them make sure it’s a happy and healthy year. There are three simple ways to make the school year more successful:

1 – Wash your hands Back to school means back to bugs and germs! The best way to ward off common illnesses like colds, flus, strep throat, respiratory viruses and many more is  proper hand washing. Most kids know they should wash their hands before and after eating and after every trip to the bathroom, but they should also be washing their hands after gym classes, playing outdoors and first thing when they get home from school or other outings.

2 – Sleep Elementary and middle school children need 9 to 11 hours of sleep every night. High school students needs slightly less sleep – 8 to 10 hours. Start a positive sleep cycle at least one week before school begins and try to keep bedtime and wake up time consistent all week long. Make sure the child’s room is calm, dark and comfortable to encourage a solid sleep. Take phones and devices out of their bedrooms while they are sleeping.

3 - Physical Activity Every child needs 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity every day. To ensure overall health, kids also need a couple more hours of less intense physical activity like walking to school, riding a bike and playing in a playground. (Just as important is limiting screen time to less than two hours a day!)

“Help your children get a strong and healthy start by encouraging exercise, setting screen time limits and ensuring proper sleep so they can function all day at school,” said Dr. Dee Hoyano, Island Health Medical Health Officer. “Prevent sick days for you and your children by making proper hand washing – 20 seconds of scrubbing with soap and 20 seconds of rinsing with warm water – a regular routine.”

Watch our Back to School video series for more tips like these.


Media inquiries:
Meribeth Burton