It’s that time again! This is an exciting time of year for students and families. As students go back to school, it is important that parents and students recognize key health and safety information that will help ensure a great start to the school year.
Getting your kids ready to start the school year involves more than finding the perfect backpack, buying school supplies, and shopping for new clothes. It means safeguarding their health so they’ll be physically ready for the challenges of heading back to school.
Back to school physical exams will vary based on the child’s age, but typically the provider will:
Late summer often results in a rush to complete back-to-school physicals. Although some schools require an annual physical, particularly if your child is a student athlete, it is a smart idea for all parents to get their child a school physical annually. This is important for a variety of reasons, including:
During a routine physical, your health professional will check all of your child’s body systems to ensure there are no apparent problems. This allows you to catch any problems early on and get your child the best early intervention resources available.
A routine physical involves checking your child’s immunization records and ensure that he or she is up to date with all required immunizations. This may be required information for your school to admit your child in the fall.
Safety behaviors such as wearing a helmet, using a seatbelt, or securing firearms in the home may come up during the course of your child’s physical. These are all good reminders for behaviors that will keep your child safe over the coming years.
Student athletes may need additional discussion with a health care professional about healthy eating, safe exercise practices or how to manage a physical condition while playing sports.
The best way to maximize the effectiveness of the school physical is to go in with a plan. Do you have specific concerns about your child’s health or development? Do you feel like he or she may be falling behind in some way? Keep in mind that apparent cognitive or behavioural problems, such as being distracted or disruptive in class, can sometimes have physical origins such as poor eyesight. Think about the following problems:
Each new school year brings a plethora of new and exciting things to prepare for. While students are most concerned with new teachers and friends, parents have a lot to consider when thinking about the well-being of their child: allergies, germs, what the cafeteria is serving, if they are getting enough sleep; the list goes on. Here we have outlined a few tips to help keep your child healthy and happy this school year.
What our kids eat and drink can have extraordinary effects on their growth, development, and overall mood and energy throughout the day. We all know kids can be picky eaters, so it is important to not only talk to your kids about eating well, but also to lead by example with nutritious food at home. If your children purchase lunch in the cafeteria, keep a copy of the menu at home and talk to your kids about the importance of a balanced diet. For those who prefer to pack a lunch, get your child involved in the process. Let them help with the grocery shopping and guide them towards a healthy balance of nutritious items that they actually enjoy.
At home, try to get in the habit of choosing healthier snacks and meal options. Replace chips with other foods like crackers, carrots, and string cheese. You can also substitute fruit, yogurt, or granola in place of cookies and packaged cake-type treats. Children often develop eating habits that are very similar to what they learn from their parents and setting the example at home can guide those eating habits in the healthy direction.
According to the National Sleep Foundation, children ages six to thirteen need 9-11 hours of sleep each night. Getting this recommended amount of sleep can often be difficult with all of the homework and extra-curricular activities school-aged children tend to participate in, but there are a few good strategies to making it work. bedOne of the most important factors to ensuring proper sleep for kids is to choose a consistent bedtime and develop a nightly routine that is comforting and relaxing for your child. A common routine might include a light snack, brushing their teeth, and reading a story before saying goodnight. Try to limit TV or computer usage right before bed as this can lead to difficulty falling and staying asleep.
At any given moment, there is a good chance that someone in the classroom has the sniffles. Kids spread germs, and that’s just the way it is. Making sure your child has received all of the proper 106555961immunizations is not only crucial to your own child’s health but also to the health of their classmates. You should check with your school to determine what immunizations are recommended and which are required by the state.
September marks not only the beginning of a new school year, but also the beginning of a new allergy season. Older school buildings may trigger indoor allergies from dust and mold, while the transition into autumn can be difficult for those dealing with outdoor allergies. Ensure your child has the proper supplies to combat their allergies by stocking up on tissues, hand sanitizer, and reminding them to be cognizant of covering their mouth when a cough or sneeze is inevitable. Also, be sure to provide things like allergy medications, inhalers, and epi-pens for the school nurse in the event that your child has a flare up.