Back to School: Tips to keep your child healthy this school year

Healthy Kids Healthy Families: Tips from a pediatrician

Germs. Flu shots. Fevers. There’s a lot to think about concerning your child’s health as a new school year begins. Dr. Tom Lacy, a pediatrician with Nemours Children’s Primary Care, offers parents advice.

Flu shots. What do I need to know?
We encourage you to get the flu shot before the flu hits. When we get people immunized early in the season, there's less illness. Last year we had the second largest number of flu cases I've ever seen.

Also, the kids who got the flu shot but got the flu anyway, were less sick.

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When you get the flu shot every year, you can build up an immunity in your body against many strains.

We say to get it every year.

How much sleep does a child need?
How much sleep a child needs depends on their age. People don't realize your biological clock starts at the time you wake up.

Make sure you child isn’t on their cellphone, computer or iPad before bed time.

The brain needs time to shut down to get a good night’s sleep.

When do you bring in a kid with a fever?
I always tell parents fever is one of a whole host of symptoms.

Put the fever into context of everything else going on with the child.

A higher fever may not mean a more serious disease, but a child who is also lethargic, listless and who may not want to interact may have something more serious. Never hesitate to trust your mother’s instinct.

What age is weightlifting okay?
After puberty. Before that, a child can do some body weight training.

How can I tell if pink eye should be treated at home or by a doctor?
Pink eye is what we call conjunctivitis. It can be viral or bacterial caused. Generally, f it's just a red eye without discharge, it's likely viral. More discharge, you need to see your doctor. If it's just read, give it a day or two, stay home until it gets better.

Signs of hearing/eye sight issues:
If headaches are interfering with a child's normal activity, that needs to be looked at. If the child stops playing, or doing something the normally do, they need to see a pediatrician.

Nut allergies: 
We talk about peanut allergies more than others because it's more life threatening. Take it seriously and don't send your child to school with peanut treats because it's a serious thing for some kids.

Lice: What do you look out for?
Sometimes you can see the actual lice, but mostly you only see the nits, which are the eggs, near the hair follicle. They're little, teeny white dots. Make sure you get all the nits out when you treat for lice. 
Lice don't like certain types of hair. Anything, like tea tree oil, can keep lice away.

WATCH: Pediatrician answers your health questions

Now that children are back in class, what do you need to know to keep them healthy? Tom Lacy, MD, a pediatrician with Nemours Children's Primary Care, is here to answer your questions.

Posted by WFTV Channel 9 on Wednesday, August 15, 2018