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5 Tips for Back-to-School: What You Need to Know to Reduce Stress and Plan for a Healthy Transition from Nina Radcliff, MD
Date:8/4/2014

porting immune systems and overall well-being. Research shows that these healthy habits can help to defend against illness and support overall balance more than those that are lacking sleep or have unhealthy diets and sedentary lifestyles. Plan to start good back-to-school habits a week before to help everyone benefit from the rewards and make a smooth transition.

– Elementary school-aged children need 10 hours of sleep, while middle school through high school-aged need 9 1/4 hours (college students should shoot for 8 hours).
– Lots of activities want to carve into sleep, but maintaining good “sleep hygiene” is paramount to calming and setting the mood to fall asleep (and stay asleep) in order to be alert and at peak performance during the day.
– Encourage relaxing and soothing behaviors (have the entire family power down televisions, put away smartphones, tablets, etc.) to decompress and engage in calming activities such as reading, quiet relaxing or listening to music.
– Start every day with a healthy breakfast (staying away from sugary doughnut type of foods). It has been shown that students that eat a healthy breakfast perform better in the classroom because they have better concentration, problem-solving skills, endurance, hand-eye coordination and increased strength for tasks.
– Lunchtime requires some planning and creativity to ensure balanced meals that include more fruit, more veggies and proteins.
– Keep students involved in the selection process (grocery store visits and in the kitchen) as it is an investment that reaps profitable dividends while learning about wise choices in the process.

4.) Hands and Fingers Can Be Weapons of Mass Infection: Help Defend Against Illness

As families enjoy almost illness-free summers, back-to-school brings to mind battles of colds, flu, strep throat as well as other pesky ailments. Most common school ailments are viruses and they are passed around at schools. In
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