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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

fact, germs lurk everywhere, we just cannot see them and according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, most kids experience 6 to 12 illnesses each year ranging from mild to severe. The research shows that it is beneficial to practice good health etiquette in order to help protect against the spread of germs. Younger students need reminders about how to react when the urge to cough or sneeze arises by covering the mouth or nose and to wash hands afterwards. Always follow the school's guidelines as to when sick kids should be kept home.

– While not all inclusive, as a general rule a temperature over 100.5, a sudden rash, severe cough, sore throat, diarrhea or vomiting, stay home and consult a doctor
– A wash refresher: Wet hands; soap; rub hands vigorously together (don’t forget fingernails); rub 20 seconds (sing “Happy Birthday” twice); rinse under running water; and if possible, use a paper towel to turn the faucet off and open the door
– Although soap and water have been shown to better sabotage the intentions of most germs, antibacterial wipes are a good consideration for convenience at school

5. Safety: At School, in Neighborhoods and at Home

Safety can range from anxiousness with starting the new school year to backpacks, school traffic, bus loading, social networking to bullying. The Academy of American Pediatrics website is a good safety resource addressing each in great detail for back-to-school. A quick list for review while gathering more specific information:

– Backpacks should be used that have wide, padded shoulder straps and a padded back. Keep it light by using all of its compartments and by packing heavier items closest to the center of the back (backpacks should never weigh more than 10 to 20 percent of the student's body weight and should always be carried with both shoulder straps)
– Younger children should always walk to school with an adult – as they get older, it may
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