5 Tips to Stay Healthy During PSLE
The 2018 Primary School Leaving Examinations are finally here.
One of the worst things that could happen is your child falling sick during this time period, resulting in disruption of his or her examination schedule.
Here are 5 easy tips to keep your child healthy during this crucial exam period.
1. Sleep early
The importance of sleep cannot be underestimated . A good night’s sleep is essential for a healthy immune system. Other benefits of a good sleep include stress reduction and optimal mental function. Don’t encourage your child to stay up late to ‘cram last minute’. Better to go to bed and do your best the next day.
2. Hand hygiene
Another simple act to avoid falling sick is to remind your child (and yourself) to wash your hands, especially before and after meals. Think about it, your hand are in constant contact with many different surfaces throughout the day. Rubbing one’s eyes/nose is a common act for most people, and it is usually these actions that results in the transmission of viruses/bacteria that spread via air droplets.
3. Avoid crowded places
Admittedly, this is quite difficult to do in our crowded Singapore. Try to take public transport slightly earlier to avoid huge crowds or just wear a face mask for added protection. Avoid family/friends whom you know are unwell, they will understand completely.
Avoid eating food that has been left outside for too long. Studies show that cooked food left outside for more than 4 hours in our sunny humid Singapore starts to turn bad. Refrigerate all food as fast as possible. If there’s any doubt about the food's freshness, don’t eat. Lack of smell alone doesn’t quite guarantee that leftover food has not already turned bad.
On that note, when cooking meals at home, make sure raw meats are handled on a separate cutting board.
5. Keep to the same routine
#5 is perhaps the easiest advice of all. Simply stick to your child’s usual weekly pattern during the PSLE exam period and don’t divert too much from schedule with new activities or destinations. Cook up his or her favourite meals using tried and tested ingredients or visit favourite food hunts to keep the morale up during this stressful period.
Finally, the good news: Even if your child needs to miss his or her exams, there are systems in place to cater to such an event. Some of which include the following:
- Rescheduling of missed paper(s) by the school or in special circumstances, by the Ministry of Education themselves.
- If necessary, the use of previous results (such as the school’s prelim papers) for grading.
Remember to get a medical certificate from your doctor for your child if he or she does fall sick during an exam date. They must have a valid excuse not to attend the examination. Doctors in Singapore are generally NOT allowed to retrospectively date Medical Certificates.
- Effect of Sleep Disruption on Sleep, Performance, and Mood, Michael H. Bonnet
Sleep, Volume 8, Issue 1, 1 September 1985, Pages 11–19, https://doi.org/10.1093/sleep/8.1.11
- P. Dudeja, A. Singh, in Food Safety in the 21st Century, 2017
About the Author
Dr Mark Liew is a Certified Family Physician practising in Singapore. He juggles between being a businessman, a doctor and a family man with 2 active young boys. In his very modest spare time, he plays chess and hopes to become a decent player one day.