While you’re ensuring your child has the proper equipment and supplies to start the new year right, you also want to make sure your child is as healthy as possible before hitting the books again. Establishing healthy habits can help ease their transition back to school and improve their overall health throughout the school year.
Try these tips to make this the best and healthiest school year yet:
- Get back to their regular morning and evening routines prior to the start of the school year.
- Sleep is very important. For your child’s health and ability to learn, as well as overall mood and attention level. So do everything possible to ensure that he or she gets enough sleep, usually eight hours for a growing child—and even more for a teen.
- Manage their seasonal or environmental allergies. Symptoms like fatigue, headache, sneezing, runny nose, watery eyes and itchiness can get in the way of attention and concentration. Doing your best to manage your child’s allergies now can help to ensure their school days are productive and enjoyable later in the year.
- Manage any food allergies. If your child has ANY food allergies, talk with your child's school about how to manage them during the school day. Be sure to talk to your child and create a plan with them about how to stay safe while eating at school.
- Provide your children with healthy meals for lunch.
- Get active. Your kids have may have been a little less active this summer than usual, but it's important to keep them moving. Since children sit most of their school day (whether in the classroom or at home), incorporating sports or any sort of exercise into their daily routine will help keep them focused and help boost positive attitudes and energy.
- Set aside down-time for your children to help relax worries, anxiety, & stress.
- Be sure that your children are staying hydrated consistently.
- Gather around the dinner table and enjoy family meals when you can. Family dinner have shown to boost language skills, lower stress, and will help your children eat fruits & veggies when they see you are eating them as well!
- Personal hygiene matters. Teach your kids about proper hand washing techniques and provide reminders to make sure it happens several times per day.
- If nosebleeds are a problem for your child, avoid exposure to cold air and use nasal saline spray frequently. If bleeding occurs, your child should sit upright and lean slightly forward and grip the tip (soft part) of the nose between the index finger and thumb, and apply firm pressure for about 10 minutes. If bleeding continues, seek medical attention.
- Masks, Masks, Masks! With the COVID-19 Pandemic still at top of mind, be sure to provide your children with masks that are comfortable for them & think about packing an extra in case they misplace one.
- Pack hand sanitizers, extra masks, & water. Be sure that your child always has a clean mask.
- Talk to your child about keeping physical distance from other students, wearing a face covering, and how to avoid sharing objects with other students.
- Review and practice proper hand washing techniques at home, especially before and after eating, sneezing, coughing, and adjusting a cloth face covering or mask.
- Choose the right school backpack. These days, backpacks are heavier than ever—the wrong type of backpack and wearing it incorrectly can lead to back pain & discomfort. Be sure to show them how to wear a backpack correctly with both straps over their shoulders!
- Above all else, make sure your child’s emergency telephone number card is accurate and current. Numbers should be listed in the order they are to be called. Also include your child’s physician and dentist contact information.
Back to School Looks Different for Everyone
Some of the changes in schools’ classroom attendance or structure may include:
- Cohorts: Dividing students and teachers into distinct groups that stay together throughout an entire school day during in-person classroom instruction. Schools may allow minimal or no interaction between cohorts (also sometimes referred to as pods).
- Hybrid: A mix of virtual learning and in-class learning. Hybrid options can apply a cohort approach to the in-class education provided.
- Virtual/at-home only: Students and teachers engage in virtual-only classes, activities, and events.