Back-to-School Guide for Parents
Article Date: Sep 4, 2013

A parent's guide for back to school

What parents need to know about children Adjusting to the new school year, packing Brown bag lunches and scheduling doctor Checkups for their little ones.

"A" is for adjusting

It can take a little while for children (and adults) to get adjusted to new things, like a new school year. As routines and new situations become more familiar children should feel more at-ease with the changes that the new school year brings. Make sure to set up a good routine at home for bedtime to ensure your child's getting enough sleep.

When children are bothered by something at school you might also see changes in their behavior, which can vary by each child and age. These behavioral changes may be as simple as acting out at home or school, or it could be withdrawing from favorite activities. Other times children might have trouble sleeping or eating, complain of tummy aches or other vague symptoms. When anything seems out of the ordinary ask the child what he/she feels.

If you’re concerned about how your child is adjusting, speak to his or her teacher about how things are going in the classroom; the teacher may have some insight on how to help your child adjust.
Guidance counselors are also good resources for these issues.

"B" is for brownbag lunches

Growling tummies can be a distraction to your child’s learning. Take into account your children’s eating habits when deciding if they will eat hot or cold lunch. Schools are taking more strides to improve “hot” lunches now-a-days, and there are many more healthy options than there used to be. If your child is a picky eater or has certain dietary needs, it may be best to pack a lunch.

Some parents go through the lunch menu with their children and make a plan for which lunches they want to eat at school and which days they want to pack a lunch. Many children will try more foods if they see their peers eating the same at school.

And, of course, don’t forget to get the day started off with a healthy breakfast that will tide your child over until lunch.

"C" is for check-ups

When going for your children’s check-ups try to come prepared with a family medical history of siblings, parents and grandparents, so the doctor can help understand if there are any screening tests needed. Knowing this history creates an opportunity to discuss with your child’s doctor ways to prevent issues and stay healthy.

And it’s not too early to start planning ahead for flu season. Flu season occurs usually anywhere from November through April, however, it can vary from year to year. It’s a great idea for both parents and children (six months and older) to get a flu shot. Most offices have flu shots available starting in October. If a baby is younger than 6 months, it's especially important to have all household members get their shots to help protect the baby.

Content adapted from online ask-a-doctor web chat with Pediatrician Tricia Schmit, M.D.

This article originally appeared in the Alegent Creighton Health enewsletter. Subscribe now and get the latest health and wellness information delivered to your inbox.  


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