Summer is ending soon, and children will be returning to school. Before our kids pack their pencils and grab sack lunches, REMSA/Care Flight would like to remind parents and community members of some basic back to school tips and precautions.
Before going back to school:
Get up to date on vaccinations
Ensure your kids are vaccinated before the school year starts.
Learn about which vaccines your child needs in this advisory from Immunize Nevada, and visit ImmunizeNevada.org for additional information.
Only you have the power to protect your children and our community from deadly diseases by vaccinating!
Help your kids adjust to a new sleep schedule
Having a flexible bedtime routine is often part of the summer fun, but it’s important for children to get into a healthy routine before school.
The recommended amount of sleep each night is:
Children 3 to 5 years: 11 to 13 hours
Children 5 to 12 years: 10 to 11 hours
Teens 13 to 18 years: 9 to 10 hours
The easiest way to adjust a sleep schedule is to move bedtime forward 15 minutes every two or three days.
A healthy sleep habit will prepare children for long days of learning.
Help your child manage their stress
Going back to school can be stressful, and the first step to helping your kids manage stress is learning to identify how they exhibit stress. Look for difficulty sleeping, tantrums, headaches and other stress indicators.
When your child wants to talk about school, listen to them to help learn what could be causing stress, like a bully or an issue with a teacher.
Make time for PDF, which stands for Play, Downtime and Family time.
Help for transitions from elementary to middle school or middle school to high school
For both of these transitions, students will experience a significant shift in teaching style and it can be challenging for them to adapt their learning style to fit the need.
Encourage your student to use an agenda or class planner to accurately track assignments for all teachers every day.
Remind your child that their school counselor is a great resource to help them cope with stress and adjust to their new environment.
Encourage children to practice good personal hygiene
It’s important for children to practice good personal hygiene, especially as they approach puberty.
Poor personal hygiene can disrupt learning and even lead to bullying.
Remind children to brush their teeth every morning and night, wash thoroughly in the shower, comb their hair and all other hygiene tasks.
Begin instilling good hygiene habits as early as possible with your children.
Provide your child with any hygiene items they need, like deodorant and soaps.
Be sure to talk to your child about changes that come during puberty and how to adjust. There are many books and other resources available online to guide parents through these talks.
Safety during the school year
Remind children to be safe while crossing streets or walking to school
It’s extremely important for children and parents to be safe in crosswalks and on sidewalks.
You and your kids should always look both ways before crossing the street. You should never look down at your phone in a crosswalk.
Children should always stay on the sidewalks while walking to school.
As a driver, remember to slow down and be extra alert while driving through school zones.
Warn children about stranger danger
Be sure to talk to your kids about strangers. Remind them to never get into a car with anyone but you or close family members whom your children know well.
Develop a secret code word with your kids and tell them that anyone who will be picking them up will know the code word.
If another person will be picking your child up from school, tell your child and alert the school administration.
Back to school is an exciting time for parents and children, but it can also be stressful. Knowing how to help your children manage stress and be safe and healthy will help them learn better and succeed in school.