The last month of summer is upon us and the new school year is just around the corner! No matter how fun-filled their summer days were, kids often experience excitement during the back-to-school transition. They may feel nervous about new teachers or friends. Parents can also be anxious about the first day of school, especially if they are seeing their little one off for the first time or if their child will be attending a new school.
To avoid absences from school and disrupting the child’s first days, make sure immunizations are up to date; schedule appointments for physicals, vision and dental exams before school starts.
Although it’s normal to be anxious in any new situation, a few kids develop physical symptoms, such as headaches or stomach aches associated with the start of school. If you are concerned that your child’s worries go beyond the normal back-to-school jitters, speak with your child’s doctor, teacher, or school counselor.
Did You Know?
- The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends that young people aged 6–17 years participate in at least 60 minutes of physical activity daily.
- Recent studies show that kids who exercise regularly have improved brain function, with a better understanding of context and grammar while reading.
Start Prepping Now
- Establish a regular sleep schedule. Adequate sleep helps to reduce morning crankiness. Practice getting up early a week before school begins.
- Review drop-off and pick-up procedures with your child. Make sure your child knows where he or she needs to go and what needs to be done after school. If possible, do a ‘practice run’ prior to the first day of school.
- Rehearse and write down the need-to-know information and put it with your child’s personal belongings. This should include your child’s address and phone number, emergency contact information, and may also include teacher and bus driver names and locker combinations.
- Take a tour of the school. Knowing where to go on the first day can help to relieve stress, especially if your child is new to the school. Ask if a school map is available or if your child can be paired up with another student, or ‘buddy,’ to help adjust to new people and surroundings.
Sources: American Academy of Pediatrics, Kids Health, National Association for the Education of Young Children, National Head Start Association, LifeWork Strategies EAP, and Adventist HealthCare. The Health Tip of the Week is for educational purposes only. For medical advice, consult your physician. Feel free to copy and distribute this health resource.