Healthy Habits to Ensure a Successful School Year for High School Kids

August 19, 2019

How to help your teen manage their health

Another school year has begun. Teenagers are more independent than younger children when it comes to health management, but they still need encouragement and direction to build healthy lifestyle habits, especially during the school year. Here are some of the ways you can work with your child for a healthy school experience.

How to help you teenagers live healthySchedule annual physicals.

The beginning of a new school year is a great time to schedule annual physical exams for your family. Your child may be required to get a physical for school activity. If your child is not mandated to do so, schedule one anyway. Help them build the healthy habit of monitoring their health through regular wellness visits and maintaining an ongoing relationship with their provider.

Create a healthy homework/study routine and environment.

Completing homework assignments and dedicating time to study for exams is important for academic success in high school. Make sure your teen has a quiet, well-lit workspace; designates adequate homework time each afternoon or evening; and sets aside recreational electronic devices during this focused period. It’s also a good idea to make sure he or she takes periodic breaks in long study periods to alleviate eye, neck and brain fatigue.

Plan weekday meals ahead.

Thoughtfully planning out balanced meals for the week – and even pre-portioning out breakfasts and lunches – can help your family follow healthy eating habits. Eliminate the nightly guessing game of “What’s for dinner?” to free up limited evening hours. Engaging your teens in meal planning can result in your child eating more well-rounded meals.  

Sleep.

Healthy sleeping habits are integral to your teen ability to function optimally in school. A lack of sleep can result in memory problems, difficulty focusing, weakening of the immune system, depression and even obesity. The amount of sleep your child needs can vary depending on a number of factors, but The American Academy of Sleep Medicine recommends that, in general, teens 13 to 18 have 8 to 10 hours of sleep per 24 hours.

Prevent the spread of germs.

Even teens need a reminder that one of the easiest and best ways to prevent the spread of germs is hand-washing. Ask them what hand soaps they like best and put their choices in the restrooms they most often use. Place cleaning wipes near remote controls and video game controls.

By establishing and encouraging responsible routines and habits, you’ll be helping to create a healthy and successful school experience for your teen, today and into the future.

If your teen needs a primary care provider, Providence can help. Call 800-424-DOCS to find a primary care provider near your home or high school.