Your Healthy-Student Checklist
What parent doesn't need some help with all the back-to-school busyness?
Here's a little assistance: A checklist with health-related to-dos. And, even if your child goes to school year-round, you might find some helpful reminders.
- Schedule a checkup. Make this a routine part of each year's back-to-school plan. Be sure to ask if your child is up-to-date on vaccinations. Older children may need a doctor visit to participate in sports.
- Have a plan in place. Does your child have a chronic condition? Let the school know. Create a written plan with your child's special needs, medicines, medical history and other health information. Your doctor can help with this.
- Make sleep a priority. A good night's rest sets the stage for better learning. Most children need at least 9 hours of sleep a night. As the first day of school draws nearer, it may help to start easing children toward an earlier bedtime.
- Dish out some brain food. Research has shown children who eat breakfast perform better at school and have lower rates of obesity. And, it doesn't have to be elaborate. For hectic mornings, keep ready-to-go foods on hand, such as granola bars, dried fruit and low-fat yogurt.
- Take a fresh look at lunch. Check out the school's menu so you can guide your child toward good choices. Packing a sack lunch? Here's an idea: Together with your child, create a list of healthful possibilities to include. Kids may be more likely to eat foods they choose.