Sometimes people get sick. While their bodies work at fighting off germs, they don’t feel good. If you are sick, it is important to rest and pay attention to what your doctor or parents tell you to do to get well again. If you are not sick, there are some things you can do to help you stay healthy and even to help your friends stay healthy.
Many kinds of sickness are caused by germs. You can do some things that will keep germs from getting passed around. One of the best things to do is wash your hands to get rid of germs before they can get inside you. Make sure you at least wash your hands before eating and after using the bathroom. You should also cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze. This helps stop germs from going into the air where they can be breathed in by other people.
The Center for Disease Control has some helpful tips to avoid the flu. The Mayo Clinic has a good page on stopping the spread of germs for adults to read and explain to students.
Drink plenty of water every day. Your body needs water to help clean wastes from your blood, to help protect you from germs, and to do many other things to keep you healthy. Make sure you drink plenty of liquids, especially water, every day. When you run, jump, and play hard, you sweat to keep cool. You need to drink water to help replace the moisture you lose from sweating.
Adults can learn a little more about our need for water at the Mayo Clinic website.
Eat a healthy mix of foods. You might think it would be fun to eat ice cream and candy all the time. That would not be good for you. People need grains, fruits and vegetables, and protein to keep their bodies strong and healthy. If you were in charge of planning what you eat, you could use the food pyramid. It helps people plan how much of the different kinds of food they should eat.
Learn more at:
Nutrition Explorers has games and more
Nutrition for Kids even has a newsletter
Get regular exercise. If you want your body to be strong and healthy, you have to use it. Spend time outside playing games. Your body needs a workout. Some students like to play a sport and be on a team. That is one good way to get exercise but there are plenty of others. Just being outside running and playing can be good exercise. Bike riding, dance lessons, and studying martial arts can be good exercise too.
Your brain needs a workout too. Spend a little time every day reading, playing board games or computer games, practicing your musical instrument, doing puzzles or other things that make you think. FunBrain.com is an example of a website with workout games for your brain.
Get a good night's sleep. It is fun to stay up late sometimes but your body and mind don’t work well if you are always tired. Experts think school age children need 10 or 11 hours of sleep every day.
Learn more about sleep and health at KidsHealth.
For more on health, visit ESP's own pages on the Heart and Lungs.