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Texas Children’s Hospital Tips for a Safe and Healthy Back-to-School

Help your child have a successful school year

From sleep schedules, nutrition, immunizations, heart health, heat illnesses and more, Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston provides parents with tips to ensure their children have a safe, healthy and successful school year.

Handling sleep-change blues: Time changes and schedule changes can make it harder for children to sleep well and can affect their performance at school. Sleep specialists at Texas Children’s recommend a transition period of a

few weeks when altering a child’s sleep schedule.

Help improve your child’s nutrition: With the ever increasing obesity epidemic—especially among children—it’s important for families to have a plan. As  life becomes more hectic, it may be difficult to ensure your family is eating nutritious, balanced meals. Texas Children’s offers parents 10 meal and snack ideas, as well as tips for a successful start to the school year.

Vaccines should be a top priority: Texas Children’s experts emphasize the importance of adhering to the vaccine schedule as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as well as the local school district. It is essential to keeping children healthy, in school and protected from illnesses that are prevalent, yet vaccine-preventable.

Young athletes are encouraged to get “back-to-school” heart checkups: TCH recommends that young children and teens whose families have a history of heart disease receive more than a routine “back-to-school” exam before playing sports. And, although sudden cardiac death is rare—affecting about 15 to 25 young athletes per year—it’s good for families to know the facts.

Anxiety—not just a problem for adults: Children of all ages can experience excessive anxiety about a new school year, which can make the first day, or even weeks, of school difficult for families. Parents need to understand their child’s anxiety, and TCH has tips on how to help them deal with it.

Burden of proof could be in the backpack: Many children are carrying backpacks that are far too heavy for them and are thus more vulnerable to injuries. Read more from experts at Texas Children’s to learn how heavy your child’s backpack can be and the dangers this poses to their health.

The importance of yearly physical exams: Children’s bodies can change drastically within a year and school hearing and vision tests may not be catching all problems. Back-to-school physicals will help to ensure children will perform their best over the next year.

Heat and high humidity require extra caution for athletes of all ages: Sports practices, workouts and even recess time can be tough on students during the brutal heat during September. Being outside in hot temperatures can endanger a child’s health as heat-related illnesses can be dangerous or even deadly. TCH has tips to help parents understand and prevent heat-related illnesses in their children.

Communication helps manage asthma and allergies at school: Parents may worry about the best way for their kids to manage asthma or allergies at school. The best defense against asthma and allergies is communication with teachers at the beginning of the school year.

What else behavioral problems in school may indicate: Children who suffer from poor school performance, memory lapses and behavioral problems may have a relatively common and treatable sleep disorder.

Most sleep problems in children are often unrecognized by pediatricians and parents and can attribute to behavioral problems and poor school performance. Doctors from the Texas Children’s Sleep Center can discuss the signs and symptoms of sleep problems.

Texas Children’s Hospital is committed to a community of healthy children and believes educating parents and students about the importance of health and safety at school will ensure that every child has a great start to the new school year.

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