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Back to School Health Checklist

With the close of Summer, August marks the start of the next school year. And in anticipation for the first day of school, there are a few things that first must be accomplished. You’ll, of course, make your annual school supplies Target run. You might pick up a few fresh outfits. And you’ll want to be sure to make the most of these last summer days. However, it is also important that you consider your children’s health and preventative care as they enter a new grade. There are several ways to ensure their preparedness and start the year off right! Check out our checklist on your children’s’ back-to-school health!

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9 Ways to Prepare Your Children for the Start of School.

1. Immunize.

This is a significant step in ensuring the safety of your children and those they encounter. Vaccines have eradicated several deadly diseases, making our society far safer. So, be sure to do your part and keep your children’s’ vaccinations up to date. It is also required in all 50 states, that school-aged children be immunized against measles, mumps, rubella, pertussis, and chicken pox. Receiving immunizations can be coupled with your child’s annual doctor’s check-up.

2. Get a flu shot. 

Flu shots similarly promote the safety of your child and those around them. However, this is not only good for your children. Everyone over the age of 6 months should get a flu shot every year. So, you ought to join in on the fun as well! Take your whole family to receive your shots, ideally before the start of flu season in October.

3. Prioritize good sleep hygiene.

Summer is likely to throw off your schedule a bit. So make sure that a proper sleep routine is re-implemented before the start of the school year. Remember that children require plenty of sleep: 10 hours for school-aged kids, and 9-10 hours for teens. Without adequate amounts of sleep, your child will struggle to focus and engage in the classroom.

4. Value the lunch box.

The food your children eat at school will influence their ability to learn, interact with others, and enjoy their day. So make sure to pack with them, nutritious and kid-approved food. Include fresh fruits and vegetables, protein-rich items such as nuts and lean meats, and swap out white bread for whole-grain! Find what healthy foods your kids enjoy eating and cater to those preferences.

5. Inform your kids of the ways of the road.

If your kids make their own way to school, either by foot or bicycle, be sure that they are aware of traffic safety rules. Teach them to use the sidewalk when available. And in the case that there is no sidewalk, to use the shoulder of the road, facing traffic.

6. Lighten their load.

Backpacks are often stuffed with books, binders, colors, and everything in between, making them quite heavy. This load can be harmful to your child’s neck, back, and shoulders. So, to ensure their comfort and health, watch the weight of their backpacks. It is advised that their packs to not exceed 10-15% of their body weight.

7. Get their eyes checked.

One’s ability to see is integral to their learning capabilities. So, be sure to take your child to get their eyes checked in case they require glasses. Also, look for signs of any sight-impairments. If they are squinting, closing one eye to read, or they hold their book exceptionally close, you may need to check the status of their vision. A child who is unable to see properly faces a significant learning barrier.

8. Emphasize good hygiene and cold-preventing habits.

Returning to school also marks the return of abounding germs. And while your children are up against all odds, there are several ways to help maintain their good health. Emphasize the importance of thorough hand washing, cover their sneezes and using tissues, and not touching their eyes, nose, and mouth.

9. Inform your school of health issues.

Keep your school updated on special restrictions and instruction to keep your child healthy. Make sure that they are aware of all allergies and health problems.

This school year, be sure to prioritize your children’s health and well-being. From packing their lunch to scheduling doctor’s visits, you have the opportunity to give them the best start! And to insure your health care needs, do not hesitate to call on us at Bernardini and Donovan for expert advice and counsel. We are here for you and your entire family in this upcoming school year!

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