Back to School for the Body & Brain

Splashing around and summer fun is coming to an end. The 2016 – 2017 academic year is here! Have we prepared our family and educators with basic back to school information? Let’s see:  Clothes ready? Check. Emergency phone numbers provided? Check. Medical conditions noted? Done! School supplies bought? Most of them. Now, what about the physical and mental aspects of starting a new year for your children?

Back To School health Essentials

Getting your child back to school can be less of a hassle with a few easy suggestions.

Sleeping is significant. Ensure your child gets adequate sleep. Multiple research studies have shown that if children are tired during the day, mood and performance in school are likely to be impaired. Lack of sleep will cause decreased concentration and memory problems, resulting in poor academic performance. But, get this:  recent research has associated sleep deprivation with slower growth! If your child is persistently tired in the morning, she is probably not going to bed early enough for a sufficient sleep cycle to occur.

Freshen up the feelers.  Remind your child to wash her hands. Hand washing is imperative for prevention of spread of viruses and bacteria. This may sound simple, since many of us remind our children regularly at home. But children get in a rush at school and often forget to wash their hands. Check with the teacher to assure students are reminded to wash their hands after restroom breaks, and both before and after lunch.

Hydrate your scholar.  Send water bottles with your student for drinking during the day. A water fountain is a haven for sharing those unwanted germs. Encourage your child to drink from his bottle instead of the water fountain. If your school does not have a policy to allow water bottles on campus during the day, address this with the school administration. Studies have shown that even mild dehydration can affect academic performance.

Monitor the monstrous backpack.  Your child’s backpack should not be too heavy. This can cause back problems when you child goes back to school. The backpack should be no more than 20% of your his body weight. Straps should be wide, and the back padded. Rolling backpacks are better, but before you invest in one assure the school will allow them.

Ditch the morning donuts.  Nourishment is indispensable. Your child should leave the house with a well-rounded breakfast on board and plans for a nutritious lunch. If snacks are allowed at school, be proactive and promote healthy snacks in the classroom. Consider organizing a snack rotation with other families in your child’s class.

Make a date with your doctor.  If your child is due for a check up, make an appointment. Vaccinations should be up to date, and hearing and vision testing should be current. Your doctor will listen and assist with any ongoing health problems or concerns that need to be addressed.

Clearly state your expectations for behavior.  Remind him that talking in class and speaking disrespectfully to a teacher is unacceptable. A good relationship with the teacher from day one can make the school year much easier. Younger classes often have a behavior/reward system in place that gives children a guide to follow, while giving you a peak inside their world at school each day. Praise him for good behavior at school.

Nurture with kind, loving words. Don’t forget to say “I love you” as your children head back to school. Have kind words for them the moment you greet them after school. As soon as you see them in the afternoon, resist the temptation to bombard them with questions. Enjoy relaxed conversation about everyone’s day and you are likely to be rewarded with more quality time later.

Splashing around and summer fun is coming to an end. It is the time to Back to school! Have we prepared our kids and the school with the Health Essentials?

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