Oh it’s that time again to dig out the alarm clocks from under the beach towels. It’s back to school time and it is an important time for parents to review healthy kids 101. Parents are hoping for school success and a good education but all the school supplies, computer programs, tutors, enrichment programs and fancy backpacks won’t help your child in school if your child is unsafe or unhealthy.
Back to School Safety Tips: Getting Enough Sleep
Lack of a good night’s sleep can lead to accidents, injuries, behavior problems, moodiness, performance problems, as well as slower reaction times, memory, concentration and learning challenges. How much sleep do your kids need? Doctors advise that children and teenagers need nine hours of sleep every night. That means that a child that needs to get up at six a.m. needs to be in bed by 8:30 because most of us don’t fall asleep right away.
Back to School Safety Tips: Road Rules
Now that you’re kids are rested, awake and fed, the next area of concern is getting to and from school safely. It’s time to go over street safety, stranger safety, bike safety, bus safety and/or carpool safety. Remind your kids, and yourself, that it’s not safe to ride with drivers that are talking on a cell phone or text messaging and to always buckle up.
Back to School Safety Tips: Are Your Kids Drinking Enough Water?
Becoming dehydrated is unsafe, unhealthy and can affect school performance as well. Most children need to drink more water. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, water is good but flavored beverages are O.K. too if it gets kids to drink more and stay hydrated. How much water should your child drink each to stay healthy? Here are two examples from the A.A. of P: A child weighing about 88 pounds should drink five ounces of water or flavored beverage every twenty minutes. A teen that weighs 132 pounds should drink nine ounces every twenty minutes. Make sure your child has plenty to drink before school, during school and after school.
Back to School Safety Tips: To Sunscreen or Not to Sunscreen?
Just because the all day beach, park or pool outings are over, don’t forget to keep using sunscreen on your kids to protect them against skin cancer. Make it part of your morning routine. It is important to note however that doctor’s advise that kids get about ten minutes of sunscreen free outdoor time each day to ward off vitamin D deficiencies.
A new school year is a good time to begin or return to some safe and healthy habits that will benefit your child in school and in life.