By Lisa Yang, ND
September is fast approaching and the school is about to start! New school year, new teachers, new classmates, this is a time of great transition. Now is the time to help your kids transition out of summer and get ready for the school year. Take a look at the following tips on how to prepare and stay healthy this school year.
Get enough Zzz’s
This may be a struggle especially since the sun is still setting late in the evening. But, now is the time to start going to bed 1/2 an hour earlier each week. This will allow enough time for your kids to adjust to the new bedtime routine for school.
To help this process, turn off all electronics at least an hour before bedtime, remove electronic devices from child’s room if possible to ensure that the devices are not turned on after they have been tucked in. Adding a handful of nuts or protein can help stabilize your child’s blood sugar as well.
Scheduling enough time in the morning to get in a hearty and balanced breakfast is very important in aiding your child in staying focused and satiated. Sitting down and not eating on the go will allow the body enough time to digest the food properly. And, if your child is taking supplements, eating a solid breakfast can help the body absorb those nutrients as well.
Balance that lunchbox
As the season is changing, our local produce is also changing. Now is the time to start getting your kids involved in making a lunch menu. Making sure to have protein, vegetables, fruit and water is vital to staying healthy. A general rule of thumb is to make sure your child gets at least 1/3 of their body weight in fluid ounces. Staying hydrated throughout the day can help with constipation and potential headaches.
Keep hands clean, watch what is being shared
As school starts, your child will also be exposed to significantly more people and germs. The flu, colds, strep infections can travel through the school fast. Make sure your child is washing their hands after every bathroom use and especially before and after eating lunch. Remind your child that sharing food and drinks can also be a way to share germs.
Most schools have a set time for orientation to meet teachers, see the classrooms, and become familiar with the new schedule. This is the perfect time to have your child get familiar with the new environment and to help transition to their school routine. If you feel that your child may need more than just one visit to become adjusted to school, then setting up a few school visits may be necessary. Consider also sending an introductory e-mail to the teacher about your child and goals or tips of how to help your child have a successful year.
Talk about bullying
Between 1 in 4 U.S students say they have been bullied at school. Whether its physical, verbal or cyberbullying, this is something that can happen to any child. Working with your child’s teachers, aides, and school counselors are important in preventing bullying from happening in the school setting. Setting aside time after school with your child, to explore their emotions, engage in imaginative play, or using emotion cards at home can be a good way help them express how they feel. Working with teachers before the school year starts to keep a safe environment at school will also help reduce the risk of bullying. Please see http://www.stopbullying.gov/at-risk/index.html for more information about warning signs, risks, and what you can do to stop bullying.
We at Vital Kids Medicine hope everyone has a great start to the new school year!
Vital Kids Medicine, PLLC
5350 Tallman Ave NW, Suite #510
Seattle, WA 98107