It’s that time of the year again. You racked up a couple hundred bucks in school supplies, you’re up at 6 a.m. making breakfast, packing up those brown-bag lunches, and scrambling to get the kids on the bus in time.
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Whether you’re dropping off your kids at preschool—leaving them for the first time in someone else’s hands—or you’re an eight-year veteran of, “Mom, I don’t want to go to school,” there are a few pieces of advice everyone can benefit from when it comes to keeping your child healthy during the grind of the school year.
Feed your student a real breakfast and lunch
Children need a full breakfast, not a snack, before they’re hustling out the door. It could be four or five hours until they eat again, so it’s important that they eat high-protein foods to ensure their brains are functioning properly in the classroom. It doesn’t have to be a three-course breakfast, but foods like low-fat bacon, eggs, oatmeal and high-fiber cereal with milk make great fuel for a day at school.
Similarly, pack high-protein snacks for your child to eat throughout the day: cheese and crackers, beef jerky, string cheese, half a peanut butter and jelly sandwich or almonds (depending on the rules of the classroom regarding nut allergies). These types of snacks are great sources of both protein and calories, which help avoid a sugar crash shortly after eating.
Add a reuseable a water bottle to the supply list
Kids may show up to the school nurse’s office, or even a doctor, complaining of a headache and feeling tired. Sometimes the cause of these symptoms are from mild dehydration. Supply your child with a water bottle and encourage them to fill it up once or twice a day while at school. If a teacher doesn’t typically allow students to bring a water bottle, consult with your child’s physician to see if he or she is able to write a note for school.
Adjust bedtimes that are appropriate for school
Parents are generally a bit more lenient on their kids during the summer, letting them stay up an extra hour or two. Children and teens get used to staying up late, so it’s important to get them back on a schedule that allows them to get enough sleep overnight.
When it’s about time for bed, pull down the shades, turn the lights in the house down and put the screens away. Studies show that both kids and adults need to turn off the TV, phone, computer or tablet one to two hours before going to bed. Ask your kids to put their phones and other devices in a basket an hour or so before bedtime, turn the TV off and read a book or discuss the events of the day.
Kids may need some time to adjust to school again
After two months of swimming, family trips and playing outside with friends for hours on end, coming back to school can be a shock. The transition can be exhausting, especially for kids in grade school. Adjusting to a new sleep schedule, getting to know their new teachers, seeing their friends and acclimating to the stricter schedule of school can cause kids to act out during those first couple of weeks.
Give your kids a bit of space to adjust and express their feelings of anger, confusion and sadness at their own pace.
Generally, kids are a little more relaxed at night, making that time between when they turn off their phones and when they go to bed a perfect time to ask them how their day was, encouraging them to talk about any problems they faced or frustrations they had during the day.
Review hand-washing with younger kids
There is typically an influx of sick kids at the pediatrician’s office in the first couple weeks of the school year. Colds, strep throat and other illnesses spread incredibly fast when kids are confined to a classroom all day, so it’s crucial to review proper hand-washing procedure, especially with younger children. Let them know that touching their faces or scratching their noses or mouths can quickly spread illness, so it’s important to wash their hands multiple times throughout the day. Even giving your kid a bottle of hand sanitizer to bring to class can help.
The school year is a busy time for kids and parents alike. And at Remedy Urgent Care, we know getting sick or injured happens to the best of us. That’s why we make it as convenient as possible for you to get the care your family needs.
Simply book an appointment online or by phone, and we’ll have a licensed provider out to your house, office or school (yes, we can even meet you at the school nurse’s office) within 90 minutes. Kids love Remedy and parents love our convenience and price! Whether it’s a back-to-school physical, a sports injury on the playground, a seasonal illness or the everyday cold, call Remedy and save yourself the time and hassle of traveling to the doctor.