Stapleton Pediatrics Blog

Back on Track for Back to School

By Amy Nash, MD
The dog days of summer soon will be behind us, so it's wise to start thinking about how to prepare your children for the school year before the first day. Keep these ideas in mind in order to make the transition easier for the entire family.
Move toward school-year bedtimes and morning schedules.
If you are like most parents, you probably let bedtimes and nap schedules slide somewhat over the summer. While there is nothing wrong with being flexible during vacations, it’s a good idea to begin establishing bedtimes and naptimes a few weeks before school starts. This way, your children can gradually ease back into a school-year sleep schedule, which will likely reduce arguments and struggles. 
Begin to limit TV and other screen time if it has increased over the summer.
Similar to sleep schedules, the amount of screen time you allow may be different in the summer months. Again, a gradual decrease of these activities will be more acceptable to your children than a “cold turkey” approach on the first day of school. If you start having your kids cut back on screen time incrementally, the entire process should go smoothly.
Schedule time for back-to-school physicals and forms.
Many schools require sports physicals and health forms to be completed before the first day of school. Check your school’s policy now, and be sure to schedule any necessary appointments early. Everyone is in the same boat, so you’ll want to beat the rush.

Be sure all medications needed for school are up-to-date.
Many students require medications that must be kept at school, and schools won’t accept them if they are expired. Check all of your prescriptions now. Some refills require an appointment with your pediatrician.

Anticipate anxiety.  
It’s no secret that transitions can cause anxiety in some children. You know your child best. If he or she is prone to anxiety with change, face it head on. Encourage your child to talk about his/her fears, and do what you can to minimize the unknown. A visit to a new classroom and meeting the teacher before the first day can go a long way in reducing anxiety. If your child’s anxiety seems out of the normal range, trust your instincts, and contact your pediatrician for help.
Following these few guidelines should help you and your children get back on track. Always remember to contact us with any questions or concerns. Have a great school year!

Posted: 8/10/2014 3:44:39 PM by | with 0 comments

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