When it comes to success at school, there is a direct link between good health and academic performance.
Dr. Rashida Mengi of Highland Family Medicine discussed the steps all students should take as the new school year gets underway Thursday during News 8 at Sunrise.
“Healthy children are better learners,” said Dr. Mengi. “A child’s school performance is not solely reliant on your intelligence or their background. Their health also takes a huge part of their ability to learn. It’s a huge role in their ability to learn. So we recommend early on that children develop these healthy habits so that they can reach their full academic potential.”
Moms and Dads can help by encouraging and modeling good choices. “Some good habits that children should have, especially in school, are good hand washing habits,” Dr. Mengi said. “They should get a good night’s sleep every night. Avoid sharing utensils, cups, water bottles with their friends and also being sure to cover their mouth whenever they cough of sneeze.” And Dr. Mengi demonstrated by sneezing into her arm, rather than her hands which can transfer germs more readily.
A healthy diet is essential as well. “Students with a healthy diet really do better in school,” Dr. Mengi noted. “All children should have five servings of fruits and vegetables per day. Breakfast is also important in that it helps with focus and concentration. Other good benefits of a healthy diet include less absences, less tardiness and higher standardized test scores and better grades.”
Dr. Mengi also stressed the benefits of exercise for successful students. “Exercise is good for all of us!” she said. “Exercise actually helps with memory and attention, so it’s really good for learners. So we recommend that all children take part in some kind of physical activity for at least one hour per day, most days of the week, to really get that brain working.”
For more information about good health for students, visit CDC.gov and search “healthy youth.”