Back-to-School — Immunizations and more
A back to school check-up, including immunizations according to schedule, is a vital part of making sure your child is healthy and ready for school, activities and sports!
An appointment with your family doctor or pediatrician is the most important step you can take to assure your child’s wellness during the upcoming school year—the visit gives your provider a chance to check in on how a child is doing physically, mentally and academically. Immunizations are vital—click here.
Meningitis B —
Your child may not be protected
Even if your child received a meningococcal vaccine (MCV4) when he or she was younger, chances are they have not been protected against Meningitis B. That’s because a Meningitis B vaccine has not been available until 2014.
While outbreaks of Meningitis B are comparatively rare, they are quite severe. Symptoms like fever, headache and neck stiffness can progress quickly, sometimes within 24 hours. Consequences can be very serious, including brain damage, loss of limbs, hearing loss or death.
Teens and young adults 16 to 23 are at increased risk for Meningitis B because they are often in close contact with one another — in school, dormitories and social settings.
Talk with your family doctor or pediatrician; the Meningitis B vaccine may be administered to young adults 16 to 23 years old. In some cases, the Meningitis B vaccine may be indicated for children as young as 10 years old who are in certain groups of increased risk.
Your child’s school probably requires proof that all vaccinations are up-to-date; sometimes vaccination recommendations change and your child may need a booster shot or new vaccination.
Don’t forget that vaccinations and booster immunizations are important for pre-school children too, and even adults!
- Studies show that breakfast eaters tend to have higher school attendance and less tardiness. Their overall test scores are higher, they concentrate better, solve problems more easily and have better muscle coordination. So whether they eat at home or at school, be sure your child eats a nutritious breakfast.
- If your children’s school provides meals, take time to go over the menu with them and discuss how to build a healthful and nutritious meal they will enjoy. Make sure the choices include whole grains, vegetables, fruits and low-fat or fat-free dairy at every meal.
- If you pack your children’s lunch, take your kids grocery shopping with you and allow them to pick out healthy foods that they enjoy. Your children are much more likely to eat what you pack for them if they have picked it out themselves.
- If your children are involved in after-school activities, pack a healthy snack they can eat beforehand. Fruit or vegetable slices, 100 percent fruit juice and whole-grain crackers with low-fat cheese are healthy options that will give them the energy they need to make it to dinner.
- Plans for a good school year start in the summer! Begin establishing a "back to school" routine prior to school starting to minimize stress and help with the transition.
- Express interest and enthusiasm about the start of the school year. If you are confident and excited, your child will be too.
- Take time to listen to your child and discuss aspects of the new school year that he or she is worried about.
- Remember to let your child know that it's normal to feel nervous about the start of school. For parents of younger children, suggest that your child take a family photo or special object (with permission from school) to school to make his or her surroundings more comfortable.
- Spend time each day talking to your child about what happened in school. Be open to hearing the good and the not so good. Give your child positive feedback about his or her new experiences.
- Encourage your child to make friends and to be a friend. School is a "social hub" that can be a very lonely place without a friend or two.
- Know the signs of bullying: direct bullying such as pushing, kicking, teasing, name-calling and destroying belongings, as well as indirect action such as leaving someone out of a group, spreading rumors and cyber bullying. If your child is the bully or being bullied, swift action involving school staff is necessary.
Aerobic activity should make up most of your child's physical activity each day. This can include either moderate-intensity aerobic activity, such as brisk walking, or vigorous-intensity activity, such as running. Include muscle-strengthening activities, such as gymnastics or push-ups, at least 3 days per week as part of your child's 60 or more minutes per day.
If 60 minutes sounds like a lot, consider that 8 to 18 year old adolescents spend an average of over 7 hours a day using entertainment media—TV, computers, video games, cell phones and movies!
3-6 Years Old: 10 - 12 hours per day. Children at this age typically go to bed between 7 and 9 p.m. and wake up around 6 and 8 a.m., just as they did when they were younger. At 3, most children are still napping, while at 5, most are not. Naps gradually become shorter as well. New sleep problems do not usually develop after 3 years of age.
7-12 Years Old: 10 - 11 hours per day. At these ages, with social, school, and family activities, bedtimes gradually become later and later, with most 12-years-olds going to bed at about 9 p.m. There is still a wide range of bedtimes, from 7:30 to 10 p.m., as well as total sleep times, from 9 to 12 hours, although the average is only about 9 hours.
12-18 Years Old: 8 - 9 hours per day. Sleep needs remain just as vital to health and well-being for teenagers as when they were younger. It turns out that many teenagers actually may need more sleep than in previous years. Now, however, social pressures conspire against getting the proper amount and quality of sleep.
Summer break is when children’s healthy eating takes a vacation too. So, as the school year nears, take time to refocus your efforts as a family to ensure your child’s nutrition and physical activity habits are ready for the year ahead.
Four crucial eating habits — plus the ‘ideal weight’ calculator
A new school year can be an exciting yet stressful time for children, with new teachers and classmates, bigger classrooms, new routines and more schoolwork. This time can be particularly unnerving and overwhelming for children who are facing major transitions such as starting elementary school or entering middle school.
Here are important steps you can take to support your child as he or she heads back to school.
Kids need an hour of exercise every day — but with many schools cutting back on recess, this can be tough. Organized sports are one route, but even an after-school run or walk can make a difference. Studies show that exercise helps promote students’ academic performance, including attention, achievement and grades, and academic behavior, such as time on task.
Here’s how much and what kind of exercise your child needs.
It should come as no surprise that kids in general don’t get enough sleep. Late summer nights combined with early school start times, and the stresses of just being a kid, deprive our children of essential sleep. But fixing your children's sleep problems will go a long way toward improve their grades and their behavior!
Here’s how much sleep your child needs.
Schedule your child’s check-up visit with your primary care physician or pediatrician now!Click here to find a Providence Family Care practice near you — or contact Contemporary Pediatrics in Centerville for a prompt, convenient