Six back-to-school forget-me-nots
Summer's wrapping up! And chances are, you have back-to-school shopping, class registration and parent-teacher meet-and-greets on the brain.
In all the back-to-school bustle, it's easy to overlook a few simple ways to make sure your child gets off to a good start this school year. So before the first bell rings, don't forget to slip these six important to-dos onto your list.
6 back-to-school tips to remember
1. Find a first-day friend. Try to find out who your child knows in the same grade, and arrange a get-together before school starts. Having a built-in buddy can ease the first-day jitters.
2. Start sticking to a sleep schedule. If bedtimes and wake-up calls have relaxed over the summer, now's the time to get kids back in the habit of a healthy night's sleep. It will help them start the school year rested and ready to learn. Gradeschoolers need nine to 12 hours a night. Teens need eight to 10 hours.
3. Create a homework nook. Make sure your kids have a quiet place to work—distraction-free—once school starts. And stock it with things they might need, like art supplies, calculators, a dictionary, computer power cords and healthy snacks.
4. Set up a well-child visit. The earlier the better—this can be a busy time of year for pediatricians. Regular checkups are the best way to make sure kids have all the vaccines and health screenings they need. The doctor can also clear your kids to play school sports and coach them on how to avoid injuries.
5. Sort out medicine routines. If your child needs to take medicine during the school day, make sure you've talked with the school nurse and teachers about when and where it will happen. The school may have forms you need to fill out as well.
6. Get a disaster plan in place. Have a family meeting to make sure everyone knows what to do if something bad happens when you're not together. Agree on a meeting place, a telephone tree, and an out-of-town friend or relative you can call if you can't reach each other.
Schedule a back-to-school checkup
To find a family health clinic near you, look for the "Find a location" feature on our website. Choose "Clinic" from the drop-down menu.