Experts urge focus on healthy summer habits of KY kids / Public News Service

As Kentucky students head into the unofficial start of summer this weekend, advocates for children are urging families to prioritize physical activity, practice healthy eating, stay on top of vaccinations, and find positive ways to manage stress and emotions.

Ben Chandler, CEO of Kentucky Health Foundationsaid the congregation at the state level A campaign entitled “High Five for Health” It aims to ensure that children are prepared to return to learning in the fall.

“High Five for Health is a prescription for a healthy whole body and mind,” he said, “and we believe that if young people follow this prescription, they are more likely to have a successful school year. Ultimately, it leads to a successful life.”

Chandler urged parents to schedule doctor appointments in the summer for their children, for wellness visits and vaccination updates before school starts in August. According to state data, 23% of children aged 5 to 11 and nearly half of children aged 12 to 15 received the first dose of the coronavirus vaccine.

Jim Tackett, Healthy Schools Project Manager at Kentucky Department of Educationwhich funded the campaign, said he hopes families will have honest conversations in the coming weeks about how they can stay active and engaged this summer, and reduce the number of hours they spend in front of screens.

“Keep on starting those talks,” he said. “Keep on exploring new behaviors that will put them on the right track to have a successful school year starting in August.”

research showed that among adolescents, even moderate screen time is associated with lower psychological well-being. and heavy use linked It leads to poor mental health, poor sleep, increased behavioral problems and decreased academic performance.

Disclosure: The Kentucky Health Foundation contributes to our fund to report on children’s issues, health issues, and smoking prevention. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.

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