Summer has been fun, but now that school is back in session, it’s time to get everyone back into a routine and make sure everyone has a happy, healthy school year. Here are some tips to make sure everyone in your family makes a healthy transition back to school!

Tidy up the sleep routine.

Now that the sun is starting to set earlier, and the family is waking up earlier, it’s time to adjust everyone’s sleep schedule to get to bed earlier in the evening. It is recommended that children ages 6 to 12 get 9 to 12 hours of sleep each night, and teens should get 8 to 10 hours a night. 

To help kids and teens get the sleep they need each night, it’s important to power off all electronic devices at least an hour before bedtime. This will give their brains enough time to unplug from the stimulation and light from phones and computers. Reading a paper book or magazine before bed can help kids and teens wind down and relax before bed.

Get a sports physical.

All student athletes should have a physical exam before starting conditioning or practice. A sports physical is more focused than a regular annual exam, and can diagnose any breathing or exertion issues like asthma that could be worsened by playing sports. It also should include a sport-specific examination of muscles and bones. 

Schedule an eye exam.

Good vision is critical to any child’s success in the classroom. Many kids and teens may not complain about not being able to see properly, so it’s important to schedule an annual exam just to be sure. Some symptoms of poor vision could include recurring headaches while reading or using digital devices, squinting, slipping behind in reading ability or poor concentration. Even if your child already wears contacts or glasses, he or she may need an updated prescription, so scheduling a vision screening at the start of the school year is always a good idea.

Make sure backpacks fit well.

As kids get older, the number and size of the books they carry to and from school can increase dramatically. Add in a laptop or sports equipment and their bookbags can weigh as much as 30 pounds. After a prolonged period of time, this can affect a student’s shoulders, neck and back and can also affect their posture. Make sure the backpack fits well with padding on the shoulder straps that can be loosened and tightened to ensure a snug fit depending on the contents. Make sure your student always wears the backpack with both straps on his or her shoulders instead of slung over one arm.

Paying special attention to the big and small issues that your child faces during the school year can help everyone in the family have a happier and healthier school year!