BusinessDay

Is Healthcare on Your Back-To-School Priority List?

A back-to-school season is one of the most anticipated times in parenting. It comes with palpitations from additional expenditures on school fees, new books, uniforms and the dreaded school runs.

The season has a huge psychological and emotional impact on parents, requiring them to devise a foolproof plan to tackle the demands without falling into despair.

Typically, parents proactively ensure that their children’s back-to-school needs are adequately catered for by paying tuition fees and shopping for school supplies, stationeries, and new clothes.

They evolve early-to-bed, early-to-rise routines for their children to ensure their body clock readjusts to the new school itinerary. They have to make time for homework, projects, sports, and parent-teachers meetings.

Swamped by the deluge of academic activities, many parents overlook an essential aspect of the back-to-school preparatory pursuits; healthcare. Instead, their children’s healthcare is dealt with on a case-by-case basis. Yet, ill-health often does not occur with adequate warning, catching them completely unprepared. Parents must be very conscious that healthcare plans for their children must be deliberate and carefully orchestrated to mitigate the risks of these spontaneous impacts on finances and access.

Understand that Child-to-child interaction fosters communicable diseases

This is the first and most crucial step in preparing your kids’ well-being for the new school year. Parents must understand that when children relate with one another, whether through playing, learning, or other forms of interaction, they are highly likely to amplify the spread of communicable diseases.

Unlike adults who are more equipped to take precautionary measures like respecting personal spaces, frequent hand washing and sneezing into the elbows, amongst others, children, especially those in Creche-Basic classes (within ages 2-8), might not do the same. We are, therefore, likely to find that during their playing time, children make innocent errors such as coughing in one another’s faces or sharing personal items, which eventually culminate in them falling ill more often than usual.

According to the American Academy of Paediatrics, hospital visits and hospitalisations owing to the Covid-19 illness, an air-borne and highly communicable disease, experienced a 14% spike in August 2022 following the resumption of the new school session.

Pay wholesome attention to their well-being

Since we have established the peculiarities of the back-to-school period for children’s well-being, parents need to understand and adopt proactive healthcare measures to pay wholesome attention to their children’s healthcare. Some of these include practising and teaching their children good hygiene, such as regular washing hands, sneezing into the elbows, avoiding personal sharing items, etc. Parents can also endeavour to prioritise the provision of very healthy, nutritious, and well-balanced meals rich in fruits and vegetables for their children. Nutritionists advised that feeding children meals with plant-based nutrition and proteins increase their overall health by 29%.

Other simple preventive measures include using health supplements and immune boosters because, as they say, prevention is better, safer, and less expensive than cure.

Carryout a pre-school season health assessment

The importance of testing and ascertaining the health profile of your children cannot be overemphasised. This is because a routine check-up will ensure your kids are healthy and virus-free as they head back to school.

It is also essential to make sure that their immunisations and vaccinations are up-to-date, so a hospital visit to ensure this would do you and your children a world of good. There are different vaccination necessities at different levels for children depending on their ages, so ensure that all these are met, and you will be off to a great start.

Be financially ready

Although parents can take precautionary measures to prevent their children from falling ill as the new school year begins, the reality is that often, episodes might still occur. As such, parents must be financially prepared for this unwanted eventuality.

However, the problem with this is that financial readiness for potentially frequent hospital visits and other medical-related expenditures is a very tricky subject, especially considering current economic realities. But how ready can parents be financially prepared, knowing that hospital bills and medical expenses are a critical strain on incomes?

It is also critical to note that a 2015 study showed that out-of-pocket medical expenditures had impoverished as many as 183.2 million people in developing countries like Nigeria. Also, further studies revealed that 12.9% of the global population would have spent at least 10% of the family budget on medical care by 2020.

So, how can parents be genuinely ready to take on these health issues financially? This is where an HMO plan comes in. By getting one, parents can rest assured that if their children fall ill because of the risks associated with social interactions, they do not have to dip into their already strained savings for medical expenditures.

Regarding HMO plans, Leadway Health Limited, an affiliate of Leadway Assurance Company Limited, Nigeria’s foremost financial services company, is revolutionising the ecosystem with affordable and tech-driven innovative offerings.

You can speak with your Human Resources Managers and take it upon yourself to arrange a meeting with the Leadway Health team. For more information on Leadway Health’s HMO offerings, please visit https://leadwayhealth.com or scan the QR Code at the top right or call us at 012801051 or email Healthcare@leadway.com for professional advice.

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