Normal Routines Start with Healthy Habits

With everything that’s been going on, for many, it’s been difficult to manage a standard routine. If junk food and lounging around has crept into your routine these past couple of months, there are simple ways to start gradually reintroducing healthier habits. Here’s how to revamp your kid’s routines and keep them safe indoors and outdoors.

Problem: Your children have developed a seemingly insatiable appetite for junk food.

Solution: Cut down on unhealthy foods, but don’t cut them out of kids’ diets completely. For example, a recent study showed that children with asthma who drank apple juice on a daily basis suffered from less wheezing than children who only drank juice once per month. In addition, swap cookies for fruit as a snack, or add a small salad to the dinner plate.

Problem: Nothing can come between your kids and the TV (and screen time).

Solution: Yes, over the past couple of months it’s most likely TV watching and screen time has increased. However, now is a good time to start reducing how much time you and your family spend watching TV or using your devices.

Set the limit recommended by the AAP: Children should consume no more than two hours of entertainment media per day. There can be a very set time when it’s allowed, and the rest of the time, it’s just not allowed.” Separate kids from screens during dinner and before bedtime (the light can stimulate the brain, keeping them awake).

To replace TV time, round up the family for a board game or a neighborhood walk. With the weather warming up, make sure your kids are spending a lot more time outdoors safely playing and exercising.

Here are some more specific guidelines about “How Much Screen Time is Too Much:”

Problem: Have sleep schedules gone out the window?

Solution: Make sure kids get the sleep they need to support their health: at least 10 hours for school-age children and nine to 10 hours for teenagers. Teens are biologically programmed to stay up late, so it’s OK if their summer hours slide a bit. But in the weeks before school resumes, set the alarm clock earlier each day to ensure they’re well-rested for their first day.

Problem: Protecting kids from the harmful rays of the sun.

Solution: Kids are definitely spending a lot more time outdoors. Make sure everyone liberally applies sunscreen about 20 to 30 minutes before going outside. And don’t forget the ears, scalp, back of neck, and the tops of the feet. Bingham Healthcare Dermatologists say they have seen some of the worse burns there. Because the sun emits two types of harmful rays-UVA and UVB-the sunscreen you buy should provide “broad-spectrum” protection against both. Use sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or greater with the physical UV blockers zinc oxide or titanium dioxide.

And, reapply, reapply, reapply, especially for active children. Reapplying sunscreen may be the most neglected step in the sun-safety regimen. Don’t just put it on and forget it. Sunscreen should be reapplied about every two hours while kids are outdoors, and every 45 minutes if they’re swimming.

Problem: A dip in the pool, lake or river may be a great way to escape rising temperatures, yet thousands of Americans drown each year.

Solution: Be sure to follow these water-safety tips from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

  • Make sure young children wear flotation devices, and keep an eye on them when they are in or near water.
  • Avoid swallowing the water. Bacteria and chemicals in pools can make you sick.
  • Take a swim lesson. Children as young as 4 can benefit from lessons.
  • Use the buddy system. Never swim alone or in unsupervised areas.

Additionally, to avoid poolside slips, keep the pool deck clean and clear of pool toys, which are trip hazards.

And, lastly, kids are definitely riding their bikes, scooters, and skateboards more now. Please make sure they are they are wearing properly fitting helmets. This can make a huge difference if they fall. If someone hits their head and there’s even a momentary loss of consciousness, call 9-1-1.



1st Choice Urgent Care & Family Medicine

Riverside Plaza (across from McDonald’s)
1350 Parkway Drive
Blackfoot, ID 83221
(208) 782-2410

Hours of Operation

Mon. to Fri.: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Sat. & Sun.: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.


Ammon Medical & Urgent Care
3456 E. 17th St., Suite 125
(located near the corner of 17th St. and Ammon Rd.)
Ammon, ID 83406
(208) 529-2828

Hours of Operation

Mon. to Fri.: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Sat. & Sun.: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.


1st Choice Urgent Care – Bannock Highway
1595 Bannock Highway
Pocatello, ID 83204
(208) 239-6511

Hours of Operation

Mon. to Fri.: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Sat. & Sun.: closed

Our content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.

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