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Back-to-School Wellness Tips for Kids


As summer vacation comes to a close, students and parents begin gearing up for another school year. Between shopping for school supplies and finding the perfect first-day-of-school outfit, here are a few things you can do to make sure your kids are well-equipped for the new school year.


1. Reset your sleep schedule.

Summertime can wreck havoc on a child's normal sleep schedule, making it that much tougher to get back into the routine of getting up for school every morning. Ease your kids back into their school schedule by enforcing a strict bedtime and gradually setting their alarms toward the time they will need to be awake and getting ready for school.


2. Update vaccinations.

Regardless of where you fall on the vaccinations or no-vaccinations spectrum, most schools require that students are up-to-date with essential vaccinations, such as meningitis, before arriving at school. Check your school's policy on vaccination requirements and get those taken care of before the first day of school.


3. Stock the pantry with healthy lunchbox items.

Studies have shown that students who have proper nutrition are able to perform better in classroom environments. Proper nutrition stimulates brain function and helps students avoid lack of focus that can be caused from hunger. Try filling your student's lunchbox with items such as fresh fruit and vegetables, nuts, and granola bars rather than sugary drinks, candy, or chips. To save time, prepare snack bags ahead of time to throw in your child's lunchbox. Also, try selecting only one or two fruit and vegetable options each week. Reducing your weekly fruit and vegetable selections will increase your chances of using all of the items before they expire, saving you money, too!


4. Schedule school physicals.

If your child plays school sports, make sure you schedule your student's annual physical before the first day of school. To avoid costly exams and longer wait times, explore options outside of your regular physician, such as your local health and wellness clinic.


5. Review your student's travel routine.

Whether your student rides the bus, catches a ride with an older student, or relies on parents for pick-up and drop-off, it is always a good idea to review your student's travel routine for the upcoming school year. Identify the nearest bus stops and safest routes to and from these locations, and, if possible, assign a travel buddy for your child. Ensuring that your child is confident with his or her travel routine to and from school will be one less thing to worry about on the first day.


6. Ease first-day jitters.

When it comes to the first day of school, mental preparedness is equally important to physical preparedness. Give your student every opportunity to feel confident about their first day in a new grade by reaching out to your teachers, school faculty, and classmates to establish relationships before the school year begins. Take advantage of "Meet the Teacher" events or class mixers before the first day to give your child some familiar faces to look for. If your school does not offer such opportunities, at least sit down with your child to discuss what to expect and give your student some encouragement before they embark on a new educational journey. A little reassurance can go a long way!


Any other tips for back-to-school wellness? Share them with us in the comments below!

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