Date Posted: 05-29-2013
Keep your child healthy and free from illnesses all throughout the school year . Photo courtesy of Bandila.

MANILA, Philippines – Keeping your children healthy during the school year will not only prevent absenteeism, but it can also help them perform better.

Diseases such as respiratory infections, diarrhea and parasitism are some of the main causes of absenteeism in school-age children.

And according to a study by the Department of Education (DepEd), absenteeism not only affects a student’s performance in school, it can also have lasting effects on a student’s education. The more days a student is absent from class, the less he or she learns from school.

In 2009, DepEd implemented a comprehensive oral health and general hygiene program for school children, which aims to prevent absenteeism due to sickness.

With less than a week before the school year starts, the Department of Health (DOH) gave out tips on how to keep school children healthy all throughout the school year.

Enough sleep, proper hygiene

School children should always get enough sleep, as lack of sleep weakens the immune system.

Experts advise that children from ages 5 to 10 should have at least 10 to 11 hours of sleep, while adolescents should have at least 8 to 9 hours of sleep.

Dr. Eric Tayag, the assistant secretary and spokesperson of the DOH also advised parents to have their children’s eyes and ears checked.

Children may experience difficulties in school because of difficulties in hearing or because of eye conditions.

Tayag also advised parents to teach their children the importance of proper hygiene.

Parents are also encouraged to prepare healthy food for their children, as these help boost immunity. The shelf life of food should also be properly checked to prevent diarrhea and food poisoning.

If a child has coughs or colds, he or she should just stay at home and rest, to prevent the spread of diseases to his or her classmates. – With reports from