Health Tips & Articles

Back to School

by Marc J. Starer, M.D.

The morning air starts to become a little cooler and the days a little shorter. Then the bright yellow busses reappear. All signaling that the kids are heading back to school. An exciting time filled with great expectations for a successful year of learning. This article mentions a few things you can do to keep your children healthy and safe and maybe get an edge on a better grade.

Be Safe….

Have your child wear brightly colored or reflective jackets and backpacks. This is especially important if they are walking to school. Consider forming a “walking bus” in your community. This is a where a group of kids walk to school together with an adult present. If your child rides a bike to school be sure they have a well fitted bike helmet and reflectors on their bike. Do a trial walk along your child’s route to school and tell them never to stop for strangers.

Be Healthy…

Going back to school means hanging out with friends and sharing stories of the summer. It is also a time where kids can share germs. Ask your child not to share drinks with friends. Encourage them to use a hand sanitizer or soap and water to clean their hands regularly. Pack a healthy lunch with a sandwich, fruit and water. Consider putting a small cold pack or a cold water bottle in with the lunch to keep foods cool. Avoid sweet drinks and cookies or chips. Work with your school to be sure the kids continue to have time for recess and physical education (gym) classes.

Be Smart…

Read with your child every night at bedtime. You can read a page and your child can read the next. Ask a librarian or your child’s teacher about age appropriate books that are fun to read. The best students are the best readers. Work with your child to stay organized during the school year. Keep in contact with your child’s teacher through the school year so you remain aware of grades that are good or not so good. Sometimes schools provide a means of tracking grades on the internet. There are great tutorial web sites that can help your child with school work. Ask your child’s teacher or special educator. 

Be Prepared…

  Students returning to school often need a physical exam form from the doctor’s office. This is especially true of kindergarteners and student athletes. Be sure to have your child seen well before he or she begins a sport or starts school. Students with asthma may need to have an inhaler available at school in case of a wheezy illness. Allergic students might need and Epipen in case of an allergic emergency. Be sure all medications are still good – check the expiration dates or speak the pharmacist if you are not sure. See what medication forms the school might need from the doctor’s office and give us plenty of time to complete them. Flu season starts in the Fall and that is usually when we receive our flu vaccines. Check our website for flu vaccine availability. When your child is ready for a flu vaccine call our office to set up a nurse visit.

Best wishes to you and your student for a successful school year!



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