2023 Author: Anita Thornton | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-05-22 03:30
Barely a few weeks after the start of the school year, your child already looks exhausted. Normal? School fatigue is a very real phenomenon.
In addition to the stress related to the changes surrounding the he alth crisis, classes, extracurricular activities and homework in the evening, the school routine is far from being adapted to the biological rhythm of our children who are feeling the effects. From kindergarten, we stop making them take a nap, which is still necessary and beneficial. And on the school benches, they are asked to stay awake and focused most of the day.
Note that going back to school requires a period of adaptation of several weeks, especially if it is the first year of kindergarten or the first year of school.
Signs of fatigue to watch out for
- Your child takes time to wake up in the morning and be functional.
- Your child is irritable at the end of the day, he has unnecessary tantrums and tries to argue.
- Your child has a loss of appetite.
- Your child becomes rambunctious and unable to sit still for homework or a quiet activity.
What can you do?
Tirednesscan often be avoided by good lifestyle habits, especially good sleep habits.
Studies have shown that the majority of children go to bed too late for their age and do not get the required number of hours of sleep based on when they have to get up in the morning.
- From 2 to 6 years old: 10 to 13 hours of sleep.
- From 7 to 12 years old: from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
- From 13 to 16 years old: from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.
If your child takes a long time to fall asleep at night, it may be a sign that you put him to bed too late. Once the first train of sleep has passed, it sometimes takes 1 or 2 hours more before the second one returns. Try starting the bedtime routine a little earlier.
Beware of iron deficiency, very common in young children. It leads to poor oxygenation of the blood which has the effect of causing significant fatigue in the child. Iron also plays a role in the development of the child's brain. Iron needs are 7 mg/day for 1-3 year olds and 10 mg/day for 4-8 year olds.
Be sure to serve iron-rich foods at all meals, including red meat, fish, and legumes. Continue to cook with iron-fortified baby cereal even if your child is past the age to eat puree. You can incorporate them into muffin, pancake or cookie recipes.
If your child seems fine in the morning, butlacking energy at the end of the day, pack nutritious, protein snacks for the afternoon as your child begins to lose focus and energy. Complex carbohydrates will provide him with energy over a longer period such as whole grain crackers and fruit.
Limit stimulating activities in the evening. Prioritize quiet games and reading and avoid screen time (tablet or television). Assess the bedtime routine to make sure your child gets enough hours of sleep.
Introduce a collective nap on weekends, including parents. Tell your kids that they don't have to sleep, but at least stay in bed and rest and read a book.
Take advantage of the weekend to slow down the pace and clear the family agenda. Leave aside the 1001 outings and activities and take the time to relax. Avoid having to put a dial to wake you up on Saturday and Sunday.
If fatigue persists…
If your child is eating well and getting enough sleep at night, but continues to be tired, consider seeing their pediatrician or doctor for a complete checkup to rule out a medical condition such as anemia or chronic fatigue.