We’re almost there — time for kids to go back to school, and now is a good time to look into whether or not your child is up to date on their immunizations and checkups.
"Now is the time to get them scheduled. Remember at those annual visits, children are screened for physical problems, learning difficulties, and emotional challenges for which they can get help," said Dr. Jim Polo of Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Utah.
Polo cites studies that show during the pandemic more than a quarter of all families missed at least one wellchild visit.
And he says now is a good time to instill 3 healthy habits, like regular physical activity – at least 60 rigorous minutes a day.
"Children have a lot of energy and they need lots of physical activity," said Polo.
Good nutrition – trading out chips and sugary treats for fruits and veggies and don’t forget about breakfast.
"Breakfast is the most important meal that they should not skip and they will need that energy to be able to concentrate and focus in school," Polo said.
He says we should start to work on developing those healthy sleep habits.
The American Academy of Sleep Medicine recommends young children get at least 9-12 hours a night, while those 12 and older get about 9-10 hours of sleep.
And don’t forget about your child’s emotional wellbeing during this time of transition.
"There’s always anxiety about going back to school, meeting new friends, having new challenges with all the new things they need to learn," said Polo.
Help your kids who may have separation anxiety by practicing being apart a couple hours before school gets underway.
Talk about bullying with your child and be aware of any big changes.
"If you notice that your child is constantly irritable or always angry, talk to them. Ask them questions, listen. See what’s going on. And if you have any concerns that your child may have anxiety or depression, start first with your family physician and primary doctor."
A healthier school year starts here: Get the guide
Regence medical experts developed a guide to help you stay on top of your kids’ physical and mental well-being and give them a strong start to going back to school. It outlines six tips for parents to support kids’ mental and physical health. CLICK HERE to learn more.