Back to school tips
Paper, pencils, notebooks, backpacks, pens, folders, new clothes, calculators, computers, scissors, protractors, rulers, erasers – the list could go on forever.
But in addition to reminding your kids not to run with scissors, there are other ways you can keep them safe and healthy this school year.
Here are some tips on preparing your child:
- Encourage physical activity. Kids don't exercise like adults. They play and participate in sports. Children should get at least one hour of exercise everyday. Limit TV and video games as much as possible.
Getting their ZZZZs
- Make sure they get enough sleep. Your children may have been staying up late during the summer. It's time to ease them back into their new schedule. 6 to 11 year olds should get 10 – 12 hours of sleep each day. 12 – 18 year olds should get 8 -9 hours a day.
Food for thought
- Talk about and prepare healthy lunches. With childhood obesity on the rise, we need to be educating our children about nutrition, and preparing them healthy meals. Avoid junk food as much as possible and teach your kids how to make healthy choices.
Pack it right, pack it light
- Buy the right backpack. While the style and color of a backpack is important to your child, the health of their back should be foremost in your mind. Kids shouldn't carry more than 10 – 15 percent of their body weight in their backpacks. The backpack should have wide, padded shoulder straps and kids should always wear both straps. Heavy items should be closest to the center of the back.
Safety on wheels
- Make sure they wear those helmets and know the rules of the road. Whether or not your child rides a bike to school, they still need to learn about bike safety. A helmet cannot prevent a bike crash, but it can save your child's life and prevent permanent brain injuries. And kids need to learn to think like a driver when they ride on roads. Phoenix Children's Hospital has free safety programs on bicycle safety and helmet use. Call (602) 546-1711 to learn more.
- Take your kids to their pediatrician. Arizona schools require that your children are up-to-date with their vaccinations. View the immunization chart. And if your child plays sports, they should have a sports physical to ensure they don't have any health issues that would interfere with their participation. Their pediatrician can also tell them what kinds of exercises could help them and how to avoid injuries.
Need a pediatrician? Phoenix Children's has a General Pediatrics practice right on campus. Choose from one of our doctors.
This time of transition will undoubtedly be challenging. Make this a successful school year by being prepared.