Spring into Health!

March 30, 2021

Spring is a great time of year for clearing out the cobwebs, whether they’re in your closet or your health routine. Here are 5 tips to help you and your school community make this spring your most health-conscious yet!

Make sure children are up to date on immunizations. Last year a CDC report found a number of families were postponing routine childhood vaccinations in order to stay at home during the pandemic. This is a problem because children who aren’t vaccinated may be more likely to get preventable diseases like measles or whooping cough.

The CDC recommends that every child continue to receive routine vaccination shots during the COVID-19 outbreak. You can find a current list of routine vaccines for children up to 18 years old on their website. And if you’re a jmc user, you can track student immunizations in the jmc Health module.

Fix up your sleep schedule. If worrying about the pandemic has been keeping you up at night, you’re not alone. In a recent study of American adults, 53% of respondents indicated they spend less time sleeping than before the pandemic. 

Getting enough sleep is vital for proper brain development, critical thinking, regulation of emotions, and a host of other things. If you’re having trouble catching enough ZZZs, you might benefit from a sleep meditation app. Check out this list of the 10 best sleep apps to download in 2021 from Good Housekeeping.

Remind everyone of proper handwashing steps. Last spring, near the start of the pandemic, you were probably a handwashing pro, dutifully scrubbing with soap for at least 20 seconds every time you even thought about touching a surface. But in the intervening months, you may have slacked off a bit—doing a fast wash here, or a soapless rinse there. 

We’re not here to judge. After all, we’re only human! But with the emergence of new, highly transmissible COVID-19 variants, it’s a good time to tighten up those hand washing habits again. Make it fun with Wash Your Lyrics, a website that allows users to input their favorite song lyrics (maybe your school song?) to generate a printable handwashing infographic.

Stay hydrated. Proper hydration has numerous benefits for health and well-being. If you need some creative ways to stay on top of your water drinking, try these tips:

  • Add a flavor boost: If plain water doesn’t appeal to you, try adding a slice of cucumber or lemon or even frozen fruit to your bottle.
  • Use an app to remind you: There are lots of great apps out there to track your water drinking, but Plant Nanny might be the cutest. With this water-tracking app you hydrate yourself and a collection of adorable plants with every glass you drink.
  • Go for a water break: Drink more water by combining it with the break times that are already in your schedule. For example, you could take a few sips every time you go to the bathroom, or before and after meals.

Clean out old or expired medicine. Take a look at your medicine cabinet—any expired or unused medication in there? If so, March 20 was the perfect day to kick it to the curb, because it was National Clean Out Your Medicine Cabinet Day!

To dispose of your old medications, you can search DisposeMyMeds.org, a database of independent pharmacies that accept expired medication. If you can’t make it to a pharmacy, you can also dispose of the medicine at home by following these steps: 

  • Crush and pour pills into a sealable bag. Fill the bag with unappealing material like dirt or used coffee grounds to discourage animals or anyone who might be looking for drugs in the trash.
  • Remove all personally identifiable information from bottles and packaging.
  • Using FDA guidelines, flush any medications that could seriously harm humans and animals if a take-back program isn’t available in your area.

What healthy steps will you take?
How do you plan to clean up your health habits this spring? Got any other tips you’d like to add? Share them below in the comments! 

And if you’re looking for help managing your school community’s health, schedule a free demo of jmc’s Health module. With jmc Health, school health professionals can search student health records, track office visits and medication, maintain immunization records, and much more.