Back-to-school prep

Your kids may be eagerly awaiting a new school year — seeing old friends, making new ones — but anticipating the first day of school also can be stressful, according to Nora Carrillo, child development specialist at Phoenix Children’s Hospital. “A few weeks before school starts is the best time to start talking and preparing for the new school year.”

Here are some tips from the General Pediatrics Department at Phoenix Children’s:

• Get your children on a wake-up and bedtime routine 2-3 weeks before school.

•Make sure your child gets at least eight hours of sleep each night and a healthy breakfast.

• Find out what school supplies and/or uniforms are needed for the year.

• Talk to your kids about school and what to expect. If they are anxious or afraid, talk about school as a “special event,” let them know what to expect and listen to their fears and concerns.

• Schedule a visit to your child’s school and arrange for a meeting with their teacher before school starts.

• Discuss ways to make friends, especially for kids who are special needs or shy.

• Pack healthy snacks and lunches.

• Put your child’s name on everything.

• If possible, arrange to take your child to school on the first day.

• Make sure that your child gets a back-to-school physical and that immunizations are up to date.

• Fill out all of the emergency contact and health information forms sent home by the school.

• Be sure that the school nurse and classroom teacher know about all of your child’s medical issues, food allergies, risk for bee stings, inhalers, and all other medications.

• Make arrangements with the school nurse to administer any medication your child might need.

• Advise the teachers about any conditions that might affect how your child learns. For example, children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) should be seated in the front of the room and a child with vision problem should sit near the blackboard.

• Parents of children with learning disabilities or, ADHD, should meet with teachers to discuss an individual educational plan and all counselors should be present.

• Be careful that backpacks are not too heavy or consider a rolling backpack to avoid back strain.

• Know what time school begins and how your child will get there.

• Be aware of the school’s designated drop-off and pick-up areas (point out all landmarks) and discuss these with your child.

• Make sure your child knows his or her parent’s name and address. You could add a luggage tag to their backpack or place information inside of a folder.

• Familiarize yourself with regulations on bikes, scooters and other vehicles.

• Review traffic safety including traffic signs and signals and all crosswalks.

• Go over a safe route with children who are walking or riding a bike. Remind them that it is never okay to a accept rides, candy, or invitations from stranger.

One response to “Back-to-school prep

  1. Pingback: Getting organized for BTS season « schools, etc.

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