Parent Tips for Back to School

With it being the beginning of August, families are reminded of a couple of different things. Fall is around the corner, and that means football and cooler weather – but right now summer is ending, and that means it’s time to go back to school. What if this is the best year yet?

As summer comes to an end, there is a lot of work that needs to be done to make sure kids are ready for the new school year. While the family gets adjusted to the first month of school, it’s a good idea to take a couple of precautionary measures to set your children up for a successful and healthy year.

1. Schedule check-ups
The first step for anyone would be to simply schedule a check-up with your doctor. An annual physical exam will ensure your child is healthy and virus-free before going back to school. A regular check-up is a great way to uncover any issues or questions, as well as prepare a doctor- approved wellness plan. Furthermore, if your child participates or plans to participate in any school sports, most require an annual sports physical to do so.

2. Don’t forget the shots
While you’re at these annual check-ups, it’s a great idea to go ahead and make sure your child’s immunizations are all up to date. The CDC mandates that every state require certain vaccinations at different grade levels for children attending public schools. Many schools, even some private schools, won’t allow students to attend without first presenting the verification of these immunizations. Flu vaccines are not required, but are recommended for all school age-children, except for those with allergies or complications. Talk to your ELFP provider to find out which vaccinations are recommended for your kids.

3. Teach good hygiene habits
Scheduling a check-up with your doctor is a great starting point, but some of the most important work is done at home. With so many people coming in and out of a classroom daily, germs are bound to find their way in. To this end, setting your child up with good hygiene habits is crucial to maintaining their health throughout the school year. Perhaps the simplest, and the most effective, way to fend off germs is to simply wash your hands regularly. Teaching your child to wash their hands for a good amount of time, after using the restroom, and before eating food can protect them from numerous types of germs. It may even be smart to provide your child with an on-the-go hand sanitizer for when soap and water aren’t available.

4. Reinstate routines and set bedtimes
Getting your child in the habit of good hygiene is great, but it’s also important to reinforce healthy sleeping habits. For a child to stay focused throughout the day, it’s essential that they get enough sleep the night before. While adults generally need about eight hours of sleep per night, most children typically need more than eight hours. Instead of just expecting your children to be able to wake up for school, start setting bedtimes a couple weeks before to help get them accustomed to the new schedule. Sticking to a routine is important, so you might not want to get too lenient on the weekends.

5. Stock up on healthy foods
Finally, teaching your children to maintain a nutritional diet is vital and keeps them healthy. What your child eats may be their choice, but you as a parent still have a crucial role to play. One of the best things to do is to get stocked up on healthy foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins. Instead of premade snacks for your child’s lunches, take some time to cut up fresh veggies and fruit for their lunchbox. Breakfast is also a must, and students who eat breakfast are more alert during class and throughout the day.

We know there is always a lot to be done to get your kids ready for the new school year, so be patient and remember you don’t have to do everything all at once. The most important thing is to help your kids have a great school year by making sure they are healthy – because healthy students are better learners.

Are you ready for the 2018-2019 school year? It might just be the best year yet.