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Back to School Wellness

By Laura Brown, RN. FNP-C at Goliad Family Practice

The first day of school is just around the corner. If you haven’t already started preparing for the new year, now is the time. It is our job as parents to ensure that our children are prepared and ready to learn. Here are a few tips to help get you started.

Immunizations and Sport Physicals – Make sure your child is up to date on all immunizations. The wellness of our community depends on all students being vaccinated. Sports physicals are required to participate in athletics. Most sports physicals are good for one year. Parents are encouraged to contact their healthcare provider if they are not up to date or have questions.

Medications and Allergies – Students that have a medication that needs to be taken during school hours will need to complete the proper forms. Students with asthma and severe allergies need to have an action plan signed by their healthcare provider, parents and school nurse. The medications to be used in case of an emergency should be up to date and readily available to the nurse or designated staff member.

Rest – Children of all ages need a good night sleep. Late nights are great for summer time but can cause problems during the school year. Students are unable to stay awake in class if they have been up all night playing video games or watching television. Turn off the electronics at least thirty mins prior to bedtime. Set a bedtime and do your best to adhere to it. Start adhering to the earlier bedtime at least one week prior to starting school.

Nutrition – Ensure that your child has a healthy breakfast. If your child is going to have breakfast at school, make sure they arrive early enough to allow them time to eat. Lunches from home should contain healthy meals. Limit the consumption of soda and sugary snacks. Instead pack water bottles, fruit and healthy snacks.

Wellness – Encourage proper handwashing at all ages. Avoid coughing and sneezing into your hands, use sleeves when possible. If your child is running fever (100.4), please do not send them to school. They need to be fever free without Motrin or Tylenol, for twenty-four hours before returning. If your child had vomiting and diarrhea, please do not send them to school. Again, they need to be free from symptoms for 24 hours before returning.

As parents, we are our child’s first teacher, it is up to us to teach them how to lead a healthy life. Help the teachers and your children have a wonderful school year by sending them healthy children that are ready to learn.