July 05, 2022
Your child is about to embark on another yearlong journey of school. It’s important to stay ahead of any challenges they may face by being prepared for the journey that awaits.
Take a moment to review some easy ways to help your children enjoy a happy, healthy school year. Consider these tips.
Getting back to school
- Schedule your child for a physical. Your child’s pediatrician or primary care physician can make sure they are up to date on immunizations, ensure medications are refilled and address any health concerns. It’s a great opportunity to schedule any follow-up visits or extra screenings that may be required for your child.
- Sports physicals are a must for athletes, so make sure your child gets one before school sports begin.
- Encourage your child to ask questions or address any worries they may have prior to entering the school year. Each year delivers new challenges for children and parents alike, so being open and honest with your children is always the best strategy.
- When it comes to staying healthy, nothing does the trick better than frequent hand-washing. Remind students to wash their hands before eating and after using the restroom or playing outside.
- Use alcohol-based hand sanitizer, especially before eating and after using a computer mouse, pencil sharpener or water fountain.
- Equip your children with sanitizer and consider donating disinfecting wipes to the classroom for everyone to use.
- Remind students not to share their food, water bottles or other personal items.
- Being active, not necessarily in sports, helps children learn, develop social skills and build self-esteem. It's also a great way to spend family time together. Ride bikes after dinner, play catch after work or take the dog for a brisk walk.
- Maintain healthy sleep habits, including consistent bedtimes and wake times. Children ages 5-12 need 10-11 hours of sleep each night.
Keeping up with homework
- Talk to your students about the purpose of homework. It might help to explain that, just like a favorite sport or hobby, practice is required to improve.
- Make sure students have a comfortable, quiet and distraction-free spot to do homework.
- Work with your children to determine a set time for them to do homework. Remember that many kids function better with a bit of free time immediately after school, so a later homework time might be a better choice.
- Don’t hover, but be available for guidance with instructions, and check to make sure the work is complete. Don’t forget to add praise for a job well done.
Improving nutrition habits
- It’s been said before, but breakfast really is the most important meal of the day. If you’re in a rush (and who isn’t?), try low-fat yogurt with sliced fruit, whole-grain toast with peanut butter or instant oatmeal with nuts or raisins.
- If your children eat lunch at school, review the menu together to select healthier choices.
- If you pack a lunch, shop together to pick out healthy food. Even better, encourage them to pack their own.
- The more choices you offer, the better. Protein sources may include tuna, peanut butter, turkey or beans. Use whole-grain bread, tortillas or crackers. Rotate fruit with sliced vegetables.