A new backpack, clothes and school supplies are on every parent’s back-to-school checklist, but that is not all your child needs before they head back to school.
“Starting school as healthy as possible sets children up for a successful start to the school year,” said Anna Miller – Fitzwater – assistant professor of pediatrics at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center. “It’s important that parents do a little homework of their own and go through a back-to-school health check list to help prepare their child for the school year.”
For a healthy start to the school year, the American Academy of Pediatrics offers the below tips:
North Carolina law requires children to receive certain vaccines. Immunization records are checked upon entering child care, kindergarten, seventh grade and college.
MEDICATIONS AND MEDICAL CONDITIONS
Children who regularly take medication at school are required to bring a completed authorization form to have it administered at school. Often these forms must be signed by a child’s medical provider and can be completed at their physical. It is important to keep schools informed about any potentially serious medical conditions children may have.
A yearly physical gives parents and children an opportunity to discover and discuss current and potential health problems or concerns with a medical provider. All children who are new to North Carolina schools, including kindergartners, are required to have a medical provider complete a health assessment form and return it to their school. Children participating in school sports also need a yearly physical. The best place to have this completed is with the child’s regular medical provider. You can also check with your child’s school system for guidance on fulfilling this requirement.
EASE BACK INTO A SLEEP SCHEDULE
Gradually ease kids into an earlier bedtime and an earlier wake-up time—even just 5 to 10 minutes earlier each night—a few weeks before school starts. Staying active during the day, having a calming bedtime routine that includes reading books together, cutting out sugar- and caffeine-laden snacks prior to bedtime and limiting late-afternoon naps can also help.
REDUCE FIRST-DAY ANXIETY
Many kids, especially those entering a new school for the first time, experience some anxiety about the first day of school. Parents can help ease these worries by talking about what to expect on the first day, reading stories together that talk about school or “back to school jitters”, choosing a special outfit to wear and packing their child’s backpack with all necessary supplies the evening before.
HEALTHY MEAL OPTIONS
Keep quick, healthy meal options on hand—whole-grain breads and cold cereals, oatmeal, yogurt, cottage cheese, fruit—to ensure a healthy start to the day. Healthy lunch options can include veggies, fruits, dairy products, lean meats and whole grains that will help keep energy and attention high through the afternoon.
A child’s backpack should weigh no more than 10 to 15 percent of their body weight to reduce the chance of back pain or injury. A lightweight backpack that has two wide, padded shoulder straps and a padded back are recommended.
What Are Student Health Assessments? Health Assessments communicate the health concerns and information from parents and physicians for ALL children entering public schools for the first time in North Carolina. Health issues that affect learning are addressed. State law requires that every child entering public schools in N.C. receive a health assessment. Parents have 30 days from the start of public school classes to turn in their child’s ‘health assessment or risk suspension… https://www2.ncdhhs.gov/dph/wch/families/kindergartenhealth.htm
NOTE: This (requirement) shall not apply to children entering kindergarten in private church schools, schools of religious charter, or qualified nonpublic schools, regulated by Article 39 of Chapter 115C of the General Statutes.
VERSE: “Let everything that has breath praise the LORD” Psalm 150
QUOTE: “A person who loves his job, will never work a day in his life.”
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