Post written by, Emily Bush, MD, Pediatrician, Health Partnership Clinic
Do you need advice on how to prepare your child for this upcoming school year?
It can be difficult getting back into a regular schedule for both children and adults alike.
Luckily, Health Partnership Clinic offers some tips to better prepare your child or teen!
Tips for Back to School
- Sleep Schedule
Your body is a clock so you must program it to wake up and sleep around the same time every day. Be sure your child goes to bed on time and gets his or her necessary hours of sleep.
Confidence in the school environment is very valuable. Confidence can blossom in your child from self-care, relationships, school environment, and the examples you set. Tell your child they’re beautiful and smart and nourish them sufficiently to help your child’s self-esteem.
How to handle stress is very important for children so they can learn in a safe, comfortable environment. Show your child the school they will be attending before their first day. This will help develop a safe comfortable feeling in their new environment. If your child is stressed about starting, meeting new kids, or starting back up for some reason, ask them why. Then, help them develop healthy coping skills that will allow them to thrive in their new learning environment.
- Healthy Eating
Fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy and low sugar diets help your child concentrate in school and enable them to finish tasks with more efficient energy at their best motivation level. Eating a high sugar diet causes a person to have a fast but short surge of energy. Unfortunately they typically then crash from exhaustion.
- Backpack Safety
Do not give your child a backpack that’s more than 10-20 percent of their body weight. Also, encourage them to not sling their backpack over one shoulder because this can cause straining of the muscles. Use soft pads on the straps to keep uncomfortable rubbing from occurring and irritating your child’s skin.
- Car and Bus Safety
Make sure your child knows to not load the bus until it is fully stationary… and never dart in front or back of a bus. In the car, make sure children under the age of 13 sit in the back seat and are buckled up. If your child is under age or height he or she must use a booster seat while seated in the back.
- Walking to School
If your child needs a way to get to school besides driving or taking the school bus, he or she can walk. However, stranger danger is a problem. Be sure to talk to your child about walking with a buddy or group to help prevent this and for road safety. Also walking in groups prevents your child from having accidents. Make sure the route your child walks is accessible to crosswalks with cross guards and that they’re walking against traffic. Remind your child to always look both ways before crossing the street, even on a crosswalk.
- Before and After School Care
If your child is an adolescent they should be supervised after school because they’not fully matured yet. Children going home to empty homes can cause many long-term issues. According to The American Journal of Nursing Science, (Issue 4, August 2015), bad habits become more normal for latchkey kids such as alcohol and drug abuse, peer pressure, as well as boredom, loneliness and anxiety. Be sure to have your child call you to make sure they safely arrive home.
Give your child or teen a workspace to work in that’s quiet and free of distraction, such as electronics, noise and clutter. Children who have a quiet place to study will be able to focus better and enjoy studying.
Your child may want to do something because “All of my friends are doing it”, but if you know they’re not mature enough, it’s important that you communicate that with them. It’s advised that adults slowly loosen the supervision they have on their child one step at a time, so that the child can healthily grow up to be a mature adult.
Feel free to talk to an HPC Pediatric Family health provider about any childhood concern. We offer a Pediatric Walk-In Clinic Monday-Friday 7:30 a.m.-Noon at our Olathe location for patients and the community.
Education is important, and we don’t want health factors to get in the way of your child’s learning. We have open appointments for school physicals, well-child exams, and more!
Call 913-648-2266 for more information or to schedule an appointment.