AdventHealth Morning Briefing: Back-to-school advice to keep kids active, engaged and healthy during COVID-19

AdventHealth Morning Briefing August 13, 2020

Today’s AdventHealth Morning Briefing, featuring Dr. Michael Keating, chief medical officer at AdventHealth for Children, and Dr. Angela Fals, medical director of the weight and wellness program at AdventHealth for Children, focused on the top tips parents and teachers should know as children return to school.

AdventHealth also just launched, a new website dedicated to school issues and COVID-19.

Highlights from the briefing include:

On emphasizing proper hygiene, masking and social distancing:
“After the first wave of COVID-19, we let down our guard, and we paid the price,” Keating said. “Now we’ve put the measures back in place – masking, properly washing our hands, social distancing. Kids do not typically get as sick as adults do, which is a blessing, and the hope is that we can continue to dampen the wave by continuing to follow these safety measures.”

On other factors that could worsen COVID-19:
“Obesity is rapidly emerging as one of the most prominent risk factors for increasing the morbidity and mortality in patients with COVID-19,” said Fals. “On top of that, the associated co-morbidities, like Type II diabetes or asthma, increase that concern.”

On concerns about children getting too much screen time:
“We are seeing an increase in recreational screen time – video games, cell phones, YouTube videos,” said Fals. “Try to find a balance. Sit down with your children and make a success plan for family and screen time. Be ready to negotiate. Let your child do their video games, but only after they do an hour of physical exercise. You can also have a family contract, put it down in writing and have all people sign it as reminders about the limits on screen time.”

On battling mindless snacking and overeating:
“Emotional eating is a concern. Start each day with a tall glass of water. Our brains often confuse thirst for hunger. Sticking to a routine also helps because our bodies and minds like to know what is going on to keep bad behaviors at bay. Finally, kids will more naturally go for healthy snacks if they are already washed and cut up, so make sure they are available throughout the day.”

We encourage you to refer to the video on the Life at AdventHealth Central Florida page to pull direct quotes from Keating and Fals. The video may be downloaded by following this link:

Join us Thursday, Aug. 20, at 8:30 am for the next AdventHealth Morning Briefing where we’ll discuss the latest developments with COVID-19.

The videos stream on the Life at AdventHealth Central Florida page and are saved in our newsroom at