Fight flu season and COVID with these 4 back-to-school health tips

Aug 12, 2022

In Nevada, most school districts are already back in session or are resuming in the following weeks. But with COVID ever-looming — on top of cold and flu season — some parents, teachers, and students are on edge when it comes to protecting their health, as it can be a challenge to differentiate the three viral infections. 

Fortunately, there are some steps parents can take to keep their kids — and school districts — healthier this year.

Test for COVID early & take proper precautions for flu season

It’s important for parents to set up an appointment before sending their children back to school, especially if they start showing flu-like symptoms. Nevada law requires vaccinations for childcare, schools, and colleges, with the exception of religious beliefs or a medical condition. Students are also required to submit proof of immunity to tetanus, diphtheria (Td or Tdap), measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) before enrolling. Parents and legal guardians can print official immunization records for their child(ren) on Nevada WebIZ.

Currently, the COVID-19 vaccination is not required in Nevada, but both the Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines are approved for children ages six months and up. Getting a booster shot is still the best way to keep your child, family members, peers, and teachers from being hospitalized with COVID-19. Learn more about staying up-to-date on booster shots by clicking here

Not only should parents schedule vaccinations and shots before illness and flu season arrive, but it’s also the perfect time to schedule a physical exam for your child or turn in any medical forms they may need.

Keep your child home if they are sick

If your child is feeling unwell now or during the start of the school year, it’s important to have them stay home to stop the spread of the virus. 
Although COVID sub variants are contagious, the symptoms are generally quite similar to a cold, flu, or allergies. This makes it difficult to diagnose, but the CDC helpfully breaks down the differences of symptoms between the three.

Build healthy sleeping and eating habits

Start a firm, routine schedule of when to log off the computer, take a break from video games, and turn off other electronic devices. 

Establishing an earlier bedtime can prevent sleep deprivation for a back-to-school schedule. 
Considering it will still be summer when school bells ring, it’s also important to ensure your child is hydrated and accustomed to drinking plenty of water to prevent heat illnesses. Read our blog on how Nevadans can safely exercise in hot weather.

Identify factors impacting mental & emotional health

Think back to your adolescent and teenage years; whether you’ve experienced it yourself, or possibly have witnessed it in others else, many people around this age face several factors that can derail their confidence and self-esteem. They can also be experiencing academic struggles such as test anxiety, or environmental factors such as social media, peer pressure to try drugs and alcohol, and life in a post-pandemic world.

The first step to supporting your child is through conversation; be present and initiate discussions regularly. Whether it’s establishing routine conversation at the dinner table, or private one-on-one conversations, both parents and teachers can bond with their children and students, which helps recognize changes in mood or behavior.

Nevada Health Link is committed to the 10 essential health benefits, offering the best insurance plans that covers lab services for vaccines and shots, as well as mental health and substance abuse.  It’s the only health insurance resource that can provide you with federal tax credits and subsidies to help cover the cost of your insurance that fits your needs and your budget. Explore your options now.