As summer winds down, it’s time to start preparing kids to go back to school.
In addition to school supplies and new clothes, there are several things parents can do to make sure your kid(s) start the school year off healthy and ready for success!
Well-child visits, annual check-ups and vaccines
Children and teens should have a physical each year with a pediatrician or family medicine provider. This sets a health baseline –including growth, development, hearing and vision. Year after year, you can use the baseline and watch to make sure they’re on track. Your doctor will also check to make sure immunizations and boosters are up to date. Physicals and immunizations are often needed to start school and join sports.
If your child or another family member doesn’t have a doctor, call (269) 341-7788 to connect with a Bronson Care Advisor. They can help you choose the right doctor based on insurance, location, medical needs and personal preferences. They can even help schedule your first visit!
Getting back to sleep schedules
Children and teens need more sleep than adults. According to the National Sleep Foundation, school-aged children and teenagers (ages 6 to 17) need 8 to 11 hours of sleep per night. Getting enough sleep aids proper brain function, and physical and mental development. If you’re not already doing so, start setting earlier bedtimes and morning alarms to help ease children into a routine.
Plan healthy meals and snacks
The food we put into our bodies has a great effect on our health and well-being. Having a balanced diet of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and healthy proteins can keep your kids feel full longer so they can focus on learning. Avoid foods and beverages that are high in sugar, which can lead to sugar crashes and negative long-term conditions such as obesity or even heart disease.
By Andrea Loder, MD Pediatrician, Bronson South Haven Pediatrics