Back to School

It’s that time of year again. Summer is coming to an end and school is starting back up. It can be a tough transition getting back into a routine for school—not only for children, but for parents as well. In order to help ease back into a daily routine, the team at Julian Healthcare has some tips to make this a healthy transition for both you and your school-aged child.

 

Sleep

Get your child back into a healthy sleep routine. According to the National Sleep Foundation, school aged children need 9-11 hours of sleep.[1] Sleep is an important part of a child’s development and also allows them the energy for a full day of learning. In order to help children get a better quality of sleep, put the devices away and turn off the TV at least one to two hours before bedtime. Electronics such as tablets, cell phones, and televisions emit blue lights that are disruptive to the normal circadian rhythm. Light is stimulating and being exposed to it via electronics in the evenings can confuse our bodies into thinking it is still daytime. This suppresses the production of melatonin, an important hormone that helps regulate sleep.

 

Nutrition

Ensure your child gets the proper nutrients to help them thrive throughout the school day. The right food is so important in making sure your child feels good, has a clear mind for learning, and has enough energy to get through the day. A lot of foods marketed towards children are full of dyes and high fructose corn syrup. Both artificial dyes and high fructose corn syrup can affect your children’s health in many ways, especially in the classroom. They can contribute to hyperactivity and an inability to concentrate.[2] Make sure your child is eating quality proteins, complex carbohydrates, healthy fats, and plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables for their meals and snacks. This typically means that it is a better option to send your child to school with a lunch from home.

 

Hydration

Water intake is an important part of the day to keep children properly hydrated. Check with your children’s teachers to see what the school policy is on having water bottles at their desks. If it is allowed, find out what kind of bottles are allowed. Send kids to school with a stainless-steel water bottle, if possible. If water bottles are prohibited from being at their desks, send them with one in their backpack as well as one in their lunchbox and remind them how important water breaks are throughout the day.

 

Breaks

Breaks are imperative after a long day of sitting at a desk and learning. When your child gets home from school, allow them access to a small healthy snack, then encourage them to take a break. This would be the perfect time for them to get outdoors and play or do a family activity like taking a walk, going on a bike ride, or playing ball together. This gives them an opportunity for fresh air, exercise, and a break from using so much mental energy.

 

Communication

Talking to your child about how their day was is very essential and often gets overlooked. It allows them to know you care and they can trust you. Opening up that line of communication and trust is not only a crucial part of having a relationship with your child, but it also gives you a look into their school day. If they are having troubles with their classmates, teachers, or anything else related to their well-being, they will be more likely to entrust that to you so it can be taken care of in a timely manner.

 

Well Child Visits

Annual wellness visits are another very important part of your child’s health. Well child visits are key to preventing illness, checking on your child’s growth and development, and discussing any areas of concern you or your child have about their health. Sports physicals are also necessary if your child plans on participating in sports. Julian Healthcare is happy to see your children to perform an annual exam to make sure your child is ready to go for the upcoming school year. In addition to well child visits, we provide sports, camp, and school physicals. Call our office today at 765-530-8008 to set up an appointment for your children.

 

[1] https://www.sleepfoundation.org/excessive-sleepiness/support/how-much-sleep-do-babies-and-kids-need, accessed August 4, 2019

[2] https://cspinet.org/resource/food-dyes-rainbow-risks, accessed August 4, 2019

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