Have a healthy start to the school year with a back-to-school health checklist

School is starting up again, and pencils, notebooks and backpacks aren’t the only things parents need to put on their to-do lists – a back-to-school health checklist is important to help children succeed.

Kids need to be healthy and alert to do well in school, which means parents need to prepare for everything from physicals to “germ warfare,” according to a release by Patient First.

Here are five tips to kick-start the school year in a healthy way:

  • Call your child’s school and ask about required immunizations. Different schools have different requirements. Many school websites have a page of health-related requirements.
  • Your child’s doctor should perform a school physical. This physical can help identify health problems, including hearing and vision issues.
  • Talk with your children about germs and how they spread. Teach kids when and how to wash their hands properly. Also, make sure your children know what to do when they need to cough or sneeze. They should carry tissues or, if necessary, sneeze into the inside of their elbow instead of their hands.
  • Children fall out of their school day sleep routine during vacation. Don’t wait until the night before school begins to get back into that routine. Ease your children back into their sleep schedule by gradually imposing an earlier bedtime a few weeks before school begins.
  • Have a plan for sick days. Pediatricians stress that you should not send your child to school with a fever. A fever means the immune system is trying to fight off something, and your child may be contagious to other children and adults. Have a plan in place for last-minute sick child care. You will probably need it before the school year ends.