School supplies? Check. First day of school outfit? Check. All done, right? Not exactly.
While these are often top of mind when September rolls around, we can’t forget about some other equally important items that need to be checked off too.
With summer almost over it’s time to think about your family’s back to school health checklist as well:
Schedule Your Child’s Back to School Physical.
Even if your child doesn’t play a sport or isn’t going to a new school, a back-to-school physical should be at the top of your health checklist. Annual physicals help to monitor your child’s health, identify any new concerns and are the best time to administer any necessary vaccines.
Stock Up on Smart Lunch Choices.
Eating well at school can be challenging. To make it easier, why not stock up on healthy food options to pack for your kid's lunches at home? Fresh fruit is an excellent source of vitamins and fiber, choose low or fat-free yogurt or string cheese for added calcium, and add trail mix or fig bars for a sweet tooth fix. For more tips on packing a tasty, yet nutritious, lunch, read brown bagging it: the tasty and nutritious way.
Choose the Right Backpack.
Time for some backpack basics: backpacks that are too heavy or worn incorrectly can injure joints and muscles. Choose a backpack that has two padded shoulder straps to distribute weight evenly (vs. single strap bags). When wearing the backpack, tighten it so it sits close to the body and about 2 inches above the waist. If your student has an especially heavy load, consider a rolling bag!
Get to Sleep.
Moving from summer to school year sleep schedules can take some adjusting. So be sure to encourage healthy sleep habits now, to prepare for the school year ahead. Eliminate electronics an hour before bedtime and keep a regular bedtime routine (even on weekends) to help get your family’s biological clocks set to the new schedule.
Plan for Emergencies.
While we hope your school year is medical emergency-free, it’s still important to be prepared. Have all medical history records and contact information organized and shared with your child’s school nurse and teacher. Include information related to prescribed medications, your child’s food or medication allergies, if your child has conditions that require specific care (like asthma or diabetes), as well as emergency contact information.
We’re here to help your student start their school year with a clean bill of health. Schedule your child’s school or sports physical today at Kirby Medical Center 217.993.8607!