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Get Ready to Return to Class with Back-to-School Tips from Atrium Health Navicent

Help your child make a smooth transition into the school year with these tips

The carefree days of summer will soon be interrupted by alarm clocks and homework.

Doctors at Atrium Health Navicent encourage parents to get a jump start on the transition from summer time to the school year by making sure their children are ready to get back into a routine.

“Back-to-school season is both exciting and daunting for children and parents. Whether children are returning to a familiar school environment or going for the first time, it’s important to help your children prepare now to excel in their upcoming school year,” said Dr. Ryan Davies, a pediatrician at Atrium Health Navicent.

These tips from physicians at Atrium Health Navicent can help:

Get to the Doctor

Parents and guardians should use this opportunity to double-check that children aren’t overdue for their regularly scheduled well-visit or for vaccines. Visit your pediatrician to ensure that your child is healthy and ready for school with proper documentation of vaccines and sports physical forms. It is important for your child to receive vaccines before they start school, where they may be exposed to illnesses that not only disrupt learning, but more importantly can be devastating for your child’s health.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that children ages 3 to 10 receive vaccinations for chickenpox; diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis (DTaP); flu; measles, mumps and rubella (MMR); polio; and COVID-19.

Children ages 11 to 18 should be vaccinated for flu; human papillomavirus (HPV); meningococcal conjugate; serogroup B meningococcal; diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis (DTaP); and COVID-19. A visit to your pediatrician’s office or taking a look at the CDC’s booster tool can help determine the vaccine and booster schedule that’s appropriate for your family.

Your child’s pediatrician can also identify any areas where your child may benefit from therapies or learning accommodations to ensure their success in school.

Get into a Routine

School starting can mean readjusting an entire family’s morning routine, and that can be tough on children and adults. Now is the time to start getting children to bed at a reasonable time, and waking them up at a consistent time — even on the weekends. This will help adjust their routine. Doctors at Atrium Health Navicent recommend that children get at least 8 to 10 hours of sleep each night.

Once school starts, settling into a homework routine is also important. If your child doesn’t have activities in the afternoon, build a quick snack break into the schedule followed by homework. By completing homework before dinner, children have a larger block of time to relax or play before going to bed, which encourages a regular and more restful sleep schedule.

Get Healthy

Studies show that children learn better with full stomachs. Also, children who eat breakfast tend to eat healthier throughout the day. If your child isn’t eating breakfast and lunch at school, make sure to stock up on easy-to-pack lunches and healthy breakfasts ahead of time.

When paired with a diet rich in lean protein, fruits and vegetables, staying active can help strengthen bones, decrease blood pressure, help with weight-management, increase self-esteem and reduce stress and anxiety. For children, unstructured playtime is important for brain development. Exercise not only helps kids stay healthy, it also helps improve focus.

Get Together

While some children may be excited to go back to school, for others, it can induce worry or anxiety. Make time to talk to your kids about how they are feeling. Ask questions like, “What are you excited about?” “Is there anything that you’re worried about?” Talk to your pediatrician if you have any concerns about your child’s mental health. Treating problems at the beginning of the school year can help prevent poor grades and address difficult behaviors or worsening states of mind.

If you and your child are struggling with preparing to go back to school, a pediatrician at Atrium Health Navicent can help.

To find a doctor, visit childrenshospitalnh.org and click “Find A Doctor.”

Atrium Health Navicent is partnering to provide school supplies at the Bibb County Schools 6th Annual PBIS DriveThrough Back to School Bash, July 28, 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., Ed Defore Sports Complex, 2851 Heath Road in Macon.

About Atrium Health Navicent

Atrium Health Navicent is the leading provider of health care in central and south Georgia and is committed to its mission of elevating health and wellbeing through compassionate care. Atrium Health Navicent is part of Advocate Health, which is headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina, and is the third-largest nonprofit health system in the United States, created from the combination of Atrium Health and Advocate Aurora Health. Atrium Health Navicent provides high-quality, personalized care in 53 specialties at more than 50 facilities throughout the region. As part of the largest, integrated, nonprofit health system in the Southeast, it is also able to tap into some of the nation’s leading medical experts and specialists with Atrium Health, allowing it to provide the best care close to home – including advanced innovations in virtual medicine and care. Throughout its 125-year history in the community, Atrium Health Navicent has remained dedicated to enhancing health and wellness for individuals throughout the region through nationally recognized quality care, community health initiatives and collaborative partnerships. It is also one of the leading teaching hospitals in the region, helping to ensure viability for rural health care for the next generation. For more information, please visit www.NavicentHealth.org.