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Arkansas pediatrician gives tips on keeping kids healthy this school year

As kids prepare to head back into the classroom, doctors want to remind parents how to keep children in the classroom, and out of the doctor's office.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — As kids get ready to head back to the classroom, doctors wanted to remind parents how to keep their children in the classroom and out of the doctor's office.

It's been a busy time of year for doctors at All For Kids Pediatric Clinic with the first day of school right around the corner.

One pediatrician, Dr. Joshua Lyon, said that he's been seeing a lot of kids coming in to get check-ups before heading back to school. 

"We had a lot of kids and a lot of families who weren't coming into the office, you know, kind of during peak pandemic season. So we got behind on a lot of checkups, and we got behind on a lot of vaccines. So we're playing catch up with a whole lot of kids," Dr. Lyon said.

He explained that it's been busier this year since some kids are going back to in-person learning after getting used to working from home during the pandemic. 

"I'm seeing a lot more excitement this year than what I have the past couple of years," Dr. Lyon said.

Dr. Lyon advised parents that now's the time for kids to get their sleep schedules back on track— but it's important to do it slowly. 

"Even just adjusting 30 minutes to an hour every night and saying I'm gonna go to bed a little earlier, and I'm gonna get up a little bit earlier," he elaborated.

If your child begins to feel sick, he recommends that they stay home from school and parents should call their doctor if symptoms worsen. 

"It's so easy, not just for COVID, but for all these other viral infections that we're seeing to just jump from person to person to person to person to person, and then you've got a whole class who's congested and sick and snotty and feels terrible," he said.

He explained that anyone experiencing any classic COVID-19 symptoms, such as fever, headaches, chills, and fatigue, should immediately let their doctor know.

That's something that La'Chasity Dickerson sees firsthand each day in her classroom. 

"You have kids that eat their snot, touch their snot, they're touchy, so it's germs everywhere. Even if we do bleach and disinfect every day, which we do. It still doesn't help the fact that your child is still contagious," Dickerson said.

Dickerson administers temperature checks each morning to try and prevent sick kids from coming to daycare, but that doesn't always stop the spread of germs. 

"It's hard I can say to keep the germs down when you don't have that help from the parents outside of the daycare," she said.

   

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