Returning to school for a brand new year is an exciting time for parents, kids and teachers. As you manage the busy back-to-school routines like shopping for new clothes and supplies, it’s also a good time to think about what you can do to make sure your child stays healthy all year.
Here are six things to do to start your child’s school year off right.
Transition Sleep Schedules
With long summer days, kids may stay up longer than when school is in session. A few weeks before school starts is a good time to start easing children and teenagers in their school year sleep patterns. You can gradually adjust bedtimes to help your child adjust to the new schedule. Don’t forget, kids age seven to 12 need between 10 and 11 hours of sleep per night, while older kids need eight to nine hours.
Get Flu Shots
A yearly flu shot will protect children and the rest of the family from getting the flu or will make it less severe if they do. Symptoms of the flu can include a lethargy, fever, coughing, sneezing, sore throat, runny nose, and water eyes, among others.
Righttime Medical Care is pleased to offer the flu shot to anyone aged 6 months and up. Our version offers protection against four strains of influenza. Since there is no live flu virus in flu shots, they cannot cause the flu. It’s recommended that children 8 years and younger have two doses of the flu vaccine at least one month apart in order to maximize the antibody and protective response to all components of the vaccine.
Teach Handwashing Skills
Good handwashing technique can be key in ensuring children don’t get a cold or the flu during the school year. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends 15-20 seconds of vigorous hand washing with soap and water to effectively kill germs—about the time it takes to sing the “happy birthday” song twice.
Pack Healthy and Safe Lunches
Now is also a good time to plan what will go in the lunch box each day. Packing nutritious meals not only is good for little bodies now, but it will set kids on the path for a lifetime of healthy food choices. And check out Foodsafety.gov for tips on food storage for school lunches and snacks to avoid foodborne illnesses.
Fit Backpacks Correctly
Backpacks stuffed with textbooks and school supplies can ultimately weigh 20 pounds or more placing stress on young backs and joints. The National Safety Council recommends a backpack weigh no more than 5% to 10% of a child's weight. It also suggests that backpacks have an ergonomic design, are never wider or longer than a child’s torso and padded back and shoulder straps, and belts for the hip and chest. It should also have enough pockets so that weight can be evenly distributed.
Make Sure Immunizations Are Current
Now is a good time to make sure your child’s immunizations are up to date. Immunizations are important to keep your child safe from serious diseases. You can check with your child’s pediatrician or the CDC website to see which shots your child should be receiving. It’s a good idea to use a notebook to keep track of which immunizations your child has received and which ones are still needed.
Righttime Medical Care offers the Tdap booster which covers diphtheria, tetanus, and whooping cough (pertussis), as well as flu shots and TB screening.
Call Righttime Medical Care at 1-888-808-6483 for an appointment at any of our convenient locations. Righttime is open 365 days a year and welcomes walk-in patients anytime, while also offering same-day appointments online or via its Call Center. Convenient services include x-rays, laboratory testing, patient portal, and electronic health records which are shared with patients' physicians, specialists and collaborating medical institutions. For more information, visit myRighttime.com.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
National Safety Council