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7 Healthy Tips To Make A Successful and Healthy Transition From Summer Break to Back to School
Sheboygan, Wis. Summer is almost over and the first day of school is just around the corner. Adapting to a long school day can be a challenge for some children, especially after a summer of fun and relaxation. St. Nicholas Hospital offers 7 tips for parents to help their children make a healthy transition from summer break to back to school. Parents should implement these tips now, prior to the first day of school, to ensure a successful transition.
Tip 1: Update immunizations. Immunizations protect children, as young as infants and as old as 17, against the most serious, potentially life-threatening diseases. Additionally, recent revisions to the Wisconsin School Immunization Law requires that students entering grades six, nine, and 12 have updated immunizations.
Tip 2: Schedule a professional eye examination. This may be the single most important examination a child can have at the start of the academic year. Many children may be inaccurately labeled as slow and unable to keep up with their class due to correctable, but undetected vision problems. Approximately 16 percent of children ages 5-12 have vision performance problems resulting in learning disabilities affecting their ability to read and learn, according to the American Optometric Association.
Tip 3: Select an appropriate-sized backpack. Backpacks that fasten around the hips or across the chest will reduce stress on the back and shoulders. Children should also get in the habit of using both shoulder straps. For a small child, a heavy load means a sore body. Younger children can handle 15-20 pounds of extra weight on their backs, while older students are able to carry much more. If your child cannot pick up his/her backpack easily then it's time to lighten the load.
Tip 4: Pack healthy lunches and snacks. Kids need a nutritious lunch to get them through their busy days. When preparing a traditional brown-bag lunch, follow food pyramid guidelines. Include a protein (meat or peanut butter), grain (bread), dairy (milk and cheese), and a vegetable and/or fruit. Good snacks include: apples, carrots, nuts, unbuttered popcorn, unsalted pretzels, or rice cakes. These will help give your kids energy to concentrate.
Tip 5: Get your kids motivated for school. Parents can help children keep motivated about learning and school by projecting a positive attitude about school. Help your child/children have a successful school year by doing the following: talking, listening and reading to your child; recognize the things your child is good at and compliment him/her; volunteer at your child's school; attend school activities and teach your child good study skills.
Tip 6: Build your child's self-esteem. A child's self-esteem can be directly affected by his/her success in school, and parents play a significant role in making school a good experience for their child. Establish a specific time each weekday evening for schoolwork to be completed. Keep this time consistent. Parents need to show an interest in their children's schoolwork by reviewing their completed homework and discussing with them the things they are learning. Compliment your child on a job well done. A parent's positive recognition goes a long way in making school successful and increasing a child's self-esteem.
Tip 7: If you didn't do so during the summer, reestablish daily routines and structure as soon as possible. Structure in your children's day will make the transition back to school a little easier. Adhere to a regular bed and wake up time. Maintain chores/responsibilities around the house. Establish a weekly visit to the library. Have family meals. Decrease the use of television, computer and video games. Increase healthier playtime and family activities. Lastly, encourage your children to review old homework from the prior school year.
By following these 7 Tips from the healthcare professionals at St. Nicholas Hospital, parents can help make a healthy and successful transition from summer break to back to school for their whole family.
To learn more, visit www.stnicholashospital.org .
CONTACT: Xue Yang