Back-to-School Health: How to Start the School Year Off Right

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As families get ready to go back to school, there's one thing that should be on your checklist: the health of your student.

Pediatrician Dr. Ken Hempstead from Kaiser is sharing the things families can do to help start the school year right.

Use the acronym S.C.H.O.O.L. to help make sure you get the school year started off right.

S: SLEEP

Quiet time begins at 8 p.m.
Turn off all screens, quiet the mind
Stick to a routine, keep a schedule
“Not a morning person” = not enough sleep

C: CHECK FOR IMMUNIZATIONS

Protect children against serious, preventable diseases. Protect not only your child, but the child’s friends and family
Talk to your doctor about what is recommended.
Diphtheria, Tetanus, Pertussis (DTaP)
Polio (IPV)
Measles, Mumps, Rubella, Varicella (MMRV)
Tetanus, Diphtheria, Pertussis (Tdap booster)
Human Papilloma Virus (HPV)
Meningococcal
Flu vaccine every year

H: HEALTHY BREAKFAST AND LUNCH 

Children who eat well are more alert and pay better attention in class.
Breakfast: Eat something!
Protein source
Avoid sugary cereals and toaster tarts (sugar content of candy bar)
An ideal lunch includes lots of fruits and vegetables, a protein, a carbohydrate and a source of dairy.

O: OVERCOME STRESS:

Common stressors for kids:

Who is my new teacher? Is he or she nice?
Will any of my friends be in my class? Who will I sit with at lunch?
What if I miss the bus?
What if the classwork or homework is too hard?

Solutions:

Tour the school if it’s new for them
Set up play dates with other neighborhood kids prior to the first day (social media can be a great tool for this)
Don’t say “You’re fine!” “Don’t worry!” Instead, encourage your child to think of solutions to their worries.
Praise your child’s strengths and talents.

O: ORGANIZE FOR SUCCESS

Set everything up the night before to make for an organized morning – lay clothes out, pack lunch ahead, backpack near the door
Build a family calendar – color coded for each member of the family that keep activities, big homework assignments, sporting events, well organized.
Create a central place for doing homework, and keeping important papers and school supplies.

L: LIMIT SCREEN TIME

Limit screen time to less than 2 hours a day (TV, video games, computer, etc.)
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“Learn to Thrive” Event information:

Saturday, September 7, 2019
11 a.m. - 2 p.m.
Westfield Galleria at Roseville, Center Court
Open to the community

The purpose of this event is to promote the importance of hydration, health, and safety in the lifestyles of children and young adults, and help kids get ready for the school year.

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