While some parents feel that back-to-school season is "the most wonderful time of the year," getting kids — and parents — back on a school schedule can be stressful. The key to success is knowledge and preparation. Here are five tips for a safe and healthy return to school.
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1. Get back on a regular sleep schedule.
For many parents, it can be challenging to get kids back on schedule for an early rise after sleeping in during the summer. The key is to not wait until the night before the first day of school.
2. Manage nutritional health.
Roughly 1 in 25 school-aged kids have food allergies. Teachers, coaches, babysitters and friends need to know how to keep your child safe from exposure to foods that must be avoided.
3. Avoid stress.
Going back to school can be exciting, but it can also be a source of anxiety for both kids and parents. Here is some expert advice on how to help manage the start of a new school year with things like familiarizing your child with their school setting and creating a structure routine.
4. Prepare for illness.
"Kids are going to get sick and they are going to miss school," says Dr. Michal Goldberg, a board-certified pediatrician. She offers tips to stay healthy and deal with common bugs when they strike.
5. Make sure vaccinations are up to date.
The back-to-school checklist for the modern student includes pencils, notebooks, tablet computers and — for some students — up-to-date immunizations. California law requires that all students entering kindergarten must have received their second MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) shot, DTaP (diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis) vaccine and final polio vaccine.
Extra credit: Get smart about lice.
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