The back-to-school season is an exciting and busy time. We know that adjusting to the new schedule and all that comes with it can bring stress to your child. It can also be stressful to you as a caregiver.
Here are 5 simple tips to help you keep your child healthy in body and mind this school year.
- Start with Sleep
Getting good sleep is essential to your child’s health and wellbeing. Just how much sleep do they need each night to maintain health? It depends on their age:
- Preschoolers (ages 3-5): 10 to 13 hours
- School-aged children (ages 6-13): 9 to 12 hours
- Teens (ages 14-18): 8 to 10 hours
Be sure to limit screen time before bed to help your child fall asleep more easily. Say good night to electronics at least an hour before your child goes to sleep. End the night with a calming activity like a bath or reading instead.
- Wash Right Up
Handwashing is always important. But germs really like to live on classroom surfaces, which can lead to colds and other illnesses. Now is the perfect time to remind your child when they should be sure to wash their hands at school:
- After using the restroom
- Before snack or lunch
- After recess or any physical activity
- Manage that Stress
The start of the school year means your child is balancing many new demands: homework, activities, and relationships with teachers and friends. This can be challenging for your child, especially as they adjust in the first few weeks or months of school. And we know stress can take a toll on our mental health and our immune system. You can help your child by:
- Watching for signs of stress or behavioral changes in your child — and talking with them about what they are feeling
- Asking your child how their school day was and listening closely to what they share with you
- Helping your child find new ways to deal with stress by doing something they enjoy. Examples might include going for a walk, playing with a pet, or spending time together as a family
- Help with Homework
Good study habits can help relieve stress and set your child up for success in school. Start by:
- Setting a specific homework time to establish a routine
- Clearing a desk or other space in a quiet area
- Talking through your child’s homework each day and answering any questions they have
- Partner with Teachers
Teachers see your child for hours every day, all week. They have a special window into your child’s way of thinking. So, view your child’s teacher as a partner. Talk with the teacher often to learn how your child is doing, both socially and academically. This will help you help your child manage their daily life, succeed in school — and stay as healthy as possible throughout the year.
At Imagine Pediatrics, we are your partners too. We provide virtual health care 24/7 for children with medically complex conditions. So, you can get support for your child any time without leaving your home. We do not replace your child’s doctors. We team up with them to give your child medical, behavioral, and social support whenever they need it. Learn more about us at www.imaginepediatrics.org/how-it-works or call us 833-208-7770.