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Is school a healthy place for your child?

For many parents, evaluating whether or not school is a healthy and safe environment for their children depends on a variety of things.  The location of the school and its construction, for example, may pose health and safety hazards that must be researched and considered. 

The high concentration of people in a school make it a veritable test-tube for colds, flu and childhood diseases.  Add to that a cocktail of academic and social stressors that sometimes lead to anxiety and depression, and school can become a very unhealthy environment indeed.

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Take heart, parents: there are many things that can be done to help make the academic environment more conducive to learning and studying, keeping kids healthy and safe in the process and preparing them more fully for adulthood.

Tips and advice for keeping kids healthy and safe

Keeping kids healthy and safe at school truly begins at home.  Poor sleep patterns, not getting enough sleep, insufficient nutrition and a lack of support from parents, are all major factors that contribute to poor health and poor performance at school.  On the other hand, students who are encouraged to eat in a healthy way, maintain a regular routine, exercise and have good relationships with family generally perform better at school and are healthier mentally, physically and emotionally.

No matter how old a child is, learning at home is an important part of the complete educational experience.  Parents should maintain a mantra of “learn always” and find ways to stimulate and expand their children’s learning every day.  Reading, math and science are important parts of everyday activities such as cooking; and simply baking a cake can be an excellent way to brush up on fractions and practice following directions, as well as provide a tasty reward at the end.

Children learn by imitation and by example, so the best way to instill an interest in developing new skills is for parents to regularly demonstrate the value of education and learning.  Parents should take the time to learn new skills and talk about it with their children.  Allow them to join in the “household economy” and learn where money comes from and how it is used to pay bills and manage the home’s budget.
Get “caught” reading – the value of enjoying knowledge for knowledge’s sake should never be underestimated and is of incalculable importance in fostering an environment where intellectual attainment is encouraged.  Being a good example of a life-long learner will make it easier for them to show initiative in their own schoolwork.

Stress has grown as a problem even among younger students.  The pressures of trying to achieve and compete at younger and younger ages are having a negative effect on many children, leading to increases in anxiety, depression and eating disorders.  Health problems brought on by stress can lead to extended illnesses and absences from school, causing stress to increase as a child falls farther and farther behind his or her classmates.

Students who have suffered health problems that have meant periods of absence from school, and students who want to be more competitive academically, may find tutoring to be a way to achieve their goals without adding extra stress.  Tutoring, such as Huntington subject tutoring, can not only help students improve grades, but can also provide homework help and be great for students who need to catch up after extended illness.

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