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Easing Kids into the Basics of Back to School

As US kids get ready to head back to the classroom and rigorous academic workloads, endless hours of free time, lazy afternoons and wee-hour bedtimes will soon be hazy// summer memories. To prevent this shock to the system child health experts advise how to keep children well-versed in healthy living.

The National Sleep Foundation recommends that a few weeks before school starts, children’s sleep pattern must be tweaked for an earlier wake-up call. Time limits for sleep must be set to about 15 minutes earlier a day as the school year approaches. NSF advises that a sleep schedule be set to go on even during weekends.

Children should be encouraged to be active outdoors in the bright light of the morning instead of flicking channels in front of the television.

Dr. Ari Brown, a pediatrician and spokesperson for the American Academy of Pediatrics said that in the days leading up to school, smooth a stressful transition by being as prepared as possible.

He also recommended updating vaccines and boosters requirements.

The American Occupational Therapy Association recommends backpack with wide, padded shoulder straps and a padded back to protect children’s backs. Backpack weight should be to the maximum only 15 percent of a student’s total body weight. In addition backpack straps must be worn over both shoulders.

Current contact information must be provided. Updated health and emergency contact forms should be sent on the first day of school with the child.

It would also be helpful to preview the day and especially walk younger kids mentally through their day, from arrival to lunch to after-school routines.

Brown advised that as school gets into full swing the family should spend at least 20 minutes together sitting down and talking, preferably while enjoying a healthy dinner.

A productive workspace must be provided with the study area being quiet, well-lit and technology-fre
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