It’s hard to believe that another summer is quickly coming to a close. As back to school is right around the corner, here are five health tips to help get you and your kids ready. I encourage you to check out these tips from the Centers for Disease Control in addition to my tips below.
1. Visit Your Doctor: In Ohio, especially before Kindergarten, 7th grade, and 12th grade, there are required immunizations that need to be completed so that the child can enter school. These immunizations are described and listed on this link from the Ohio Department of Health. In addition, depending on your child’s age and medical conditions, there may be other immunizations that are recommended. So, definitely check with your doctor on this.
2. Change That Sleep Schedule Now: Studies have shown that adequate sleep is critical for academic success. For adults, it can take about a week to get used to a new sleep schedule. However, in young children, it can take longer than that. Consider starting that new (and earlier) sleep schedule now. A good first step is to have the child limit screen time or just turn off electronic devices well before bedtime.
3. Kids Needs Breakfast: Studies also show that children who eat a healthy breakfast function better. I encourage parents to check with the school to see what is available in the cafeteria, and most schools have this available on their school website. In addition, some children qualify for free or reduced meals at school, but parents need to check with the school in regards to this.
4. Backpack Safety: Choose a backpack with wide padded shoulder straps and a padded back. Remind your child to always use both shoulder straps. Pack light, and remove unneeded items. The backpack should never weigh more than 10-20% of your child’s body weight.
5. Beware of Bullying: Teach your child when and how to ask a trusted adult for help at school. Monitor your child’s social media and text interactions so you can identify problems before they get out of hand.
These are just a few tips to get you started. The bottom line is that this is such an exciting time for kids as they start out the new academic year. Don’t forget to have some fun in the process of getting ready to go back to school!