It’s that time again, back to school. A time parents celebrate, and kids are excited to see their friends but not always excited to get back into their busy routine. Transitioning back into that routine can be tough for everyone, routines that may have become lax over the summer come back strong. Here are some tips to help you get ready for the new school year and help get back in the swing of things.

Bedtime –

School-aged children need between 9 and 11 hours of sleep each day. Over the summer bedtimes may have become later than normal, easing back into a normal school bedtime is the best way to start the transition. Start easing back into it a few weeks early. Start by moving bedtime up 30 minutes each week until you get back to the right time to get to bed. Not having enough sleep can impede the learning process and make it difficult for your child to fully focus on what’s being taught.

Physicals –

It is important that your children are up to date on their physicals and vaccinations prior to starting the new school year. Keeping your kids healthy with back to school insight starts with your kids being protected. If your kids play sports, you will definitely need to have an updated physical to play. Schedule time to see your pediatrician and ensure you call early to get on the schedule. Bring forms that you need to be completed to your appointment to save yourself time with having to follow-up and stop by back to get them completed.

Nutrition –

This can be a tough one. You may struggle with making lunch or buying lunch, “How do I ensure they are getting the nutrition they need?” Starting the day with breakfast is imperative. Eating right will help your child focus and learn better during the school day. Having balanced meals will go a long way to keeping your child healthy on several levels. Not only will it potentially help keep your child from getting colds, it can help battle them if they do. Fruits and are vegetables are key to helping your child’s immune system.

Concerns/Communication –

If you have any concerns about your child’s health or learning abilities make sure you communicate this with your child’s teacher and any other person at the school that it is applicable (school nurse, counselor, principal, dean, etc). You are all in the same boat, you want your child to be successful, and if there are any concerns it is best to bring them to their attention as soon as possible to ensure if any arrangements need to be made they are. Aside from safety concerns from health conditions, you also want to ensure children with health conditions don’t feel stigmatized by their classmates and can participate just like everyone else.

Hygiene –

With so many people around, germs are bound to be lurking in classrooms. To help your kids avoid getting sick (and prevent them from bringing germs home), it’s important to show them how to protect themselves. Teach them to wash their hands after using the restroom and before going to lunch or eating a snack. It may be smart to provide your children with on-the-go hand sanitizer to use when washing their hands isn’t convenient. You should also instruct them not to share food or drinks with other kids, they may not realize how bad this can be for them with germs being so easily spread this way.

Stress –

Back-to-school season is stressful not only for parents but for our kids as well.  Too much stress can lead to a variety of health issues, like insomnia and sluggish immune systems. Help manage stress by talking to your children about anything that’s bothering them, and take care not to overload anyone’s schedule, including your own!  Schoolwork and after-school activities are important, but it’s also essential to take time to relax, play and spend time as a family.