The school year is about to start, and some districts are already back in session. With September we can look forward to fall sports, homework and of course: germs. Kids everywhere will be sharing pencils, books, hand-soap and snacks. Here are a few tips to prep for the onslaught of germs and a healthy, happy school year:
1. Shots & Vaccinations: Check in with the pediatrician. Make sure your child is up to date on all necessary immunizations for his or her age group. Common shots include vaccines for Chickenpox, Hepatitis B and in some cases the flu. You can also check the American Academy of Pediatrics website for your own peace of mind.
2. Vision & Hearing: Many schools will provide these tests, but it can’t hurt to start off the school year with a quick vision and/or hearing exam. Many children don’t realize they may need glasses – or may try to fake the vision test. Visit the pediatrician’s office for a quick exam.
3. Be Prepared: Double check that you’ve listed the correct emergency numbers on your kid’s telephone card. Make sure the nurse and school is informed of any physical restrictions that may have come up over the summer, such as asthma or a back brace. Provide the nurse with necessary medication or medical equipment (an extra inhaler, insulin, etc.)
4. Get the Right Stuff: Binders and crayons shouldn’t be the only items on your back-to-school shopping list. Make sure your kid has a strong backpack with wide straps and a padded back. On the first day, pack a refillable water bottle and hand sanitizer. Children should be drinking at least one full water bottle a day, and should wash hands before eating and coming in from recess.
5. Start the Day Right: You can pack a great lunch, but you can’t guarantee your child is eating from his or her lunchbox. Prepare a healthy breakfast, with great nutrients and brain food. Eggs, nut butters (peanut, almond) and Greek yogurt are great options. Avoid breakfast foods high in sugar, such as jam or berries.