Top Ten Checklist for Back to School!
This top ten list will get you on track before you send them back!
1. Immunizations and Flu Vaccinations- Check with your child's Pediatrician to make sure the medical record is up to date. Immunization requirements vary with age/location, so check your school website or www.shotsforschool.org/ for current law. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also recommends an annual flu vaccine for everyone 6 months and older.
2. Vision- Don't wait for or rely on your school's vision check. Make an appointment now with a pediatrician for a complete and early vision diagnosis.
3. Emergency Contact List- Write down all current emergency contacts and keep it handy for all those school forms coming in the first week.
4. Updated List Medications/Allergies- Inform your school office of any changes ASAP and make a copy for the teacher(s) to have on hand.
5. Hygiene- You can't avoid germs in classrooms, but help your kids avoid getting sick by teaching them to wash their hands after using the restroom and before going to lunch or eating a snack. Provide travel size hand sanitizer and don't assume the classroom is stocked with tissues/sanitizer. Teach kids not to share food, drinks, hats or combs/brushes.
6. Walking/Biking to school- Choose the safest route ahead of time, walk or bike in groups, cross streets safely at the cross-walk, and always wear a proper fitting helmet while biking. Teach your child to always be aware of surroundings and avoid strangers.
7. Sleep- Many children and teens don't get enough sleep and are nodding off in class. A study by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute links poor sleep in teens (age 13-16 years old) to higher blood pressure, which if left untreated, can increase the risk of stroke and heart disease. School-age children and teens need at least nine hours of sleep a night. Set a sleep schedule by going to bed and waking up at set times, even on the weekend. Avoid TV, gaming, phones or computers for at least 30 minutes before bedtime. Instead, make a nightly habit of reading with your child.
8. Sun Safety- In this heat, don't forget sunscreen, protective clothing and lots of water in a spill-proof, BPA-free container to stay hydrated.
9. Exercise- Don't rely on the P.E. program to fulfill your child's exercise needs. According to the National Institutes of Health, your child needs at least one hour of physical activity a day helps:
Increase learning and stay attentive in school
Keep a healthy weight
Build strong muscles, bones, and joints
10. Healthy Eating- Unfortunately, school served Breakfast and Lunch are not always healthy. Make your own, with so many simple choices available:
Avocado or other veggies with whole grain toast or whole-grain waffle with fruit.
Scrambled eggs or tofu with fresh herbs and veggies, served with whole-wheat English muffin.
Quinoa breakfast bowl with fruit, cinnamon, vanilla, milk/almond milk and nuts/seeds.
Burrito: whole-grain tortilla with scrambled eggs, beans, veggies and salsa.
A whole grain- whole wheat bread/pita/tortilla
A source of protein
Fruit and/or veggies
A low fat dairy serving of milk, yogurt or cheese
Water for hydration
Kids need healthy snacks for energy and proper growth. Avoid low-nutrient choices like candy, cookies, soda and chips. Choose fruit, dairy, whole grains and veggies and lean protein snacks. Check with your child's class/teacher before sending anything for your child with nuts due to possible life-threatening nut allergies.
Have a healthy and happy start for Back to School!