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Back-to-School Guide: 14 Tips to Help Children Transition

The summer season is wrapping up and soon the kids will be back to school. From backpack tips to knowing when it's best to stay home sick, here is everything you need to prep your kids for going back to school.

Tips for back-to-school healthy eating

It’s 6 a.m. on the first day of school and you stare into the empty lunch boxes before you. Cute, “pinnable” lunch plans turn to healthy lunch plans turn to cash-for-a-hot-lunch plans. You’re not alone. Lots of parents struggle with packing a lunch every day. Use these tips to create healthy school lunches your kids will actually eat.

How to choose the right back-to-school backpack

Back-to-school shopping is just around the corner, and one of the hardest-working items your child will need is a backpack. The backpack is used every day and needs to handle a lot of abuse as children throw them on the ground, weigh them down with books and travel to and from school with them. Not to mention, the strain that an ill-fitting backpack can have on your child’s back. Choosing the proper backpack can help your child maintain good posture and help avoid back pain and numbness or weakness in the arms and legs.

As you hit stores and back-to-school sales, here are three tips to ensure you buy the perfect backpack.

How to prepare for potential allergies

While some symptoms of allergies are mildly annoying, others can be extremely uncomfortable and even life-threatening. The causes of allergic reactions can vary from person to person, so it’s important to understand and recognize the symptoms and know how to treat them. As your child heads back to school, check out these tips to recognize, prepare for and treat food allergies.

The importance of sleep when going back to school

Most parents have experienced it—the dreaded bedtime battle. As soon as donning pajamas is mentioned, kids dig in their heels and arm themselves with a list of excuses to avoid slumber. But experts say that battle-weary parents should not give in because sleep is crucial to a child’s well-being and success. Check out these articles to learn more about the importance of sleep:

When should my child stay home sick?

When the first sign of a stomach bug or severe cold enters your house, it can feel like a ticking time bomb. In a short matter of time, your entire household could succumb to the illness!

From sleepless nights and missed days at work and school, short of buying everyone in your family a hazmat suit, you may wonder if it’s safe to send your kids to school when fighting off an illness. Check out these articles to learn more about the most contagious childhood conditions and how to know when it's safe to send your child back to school.

Tips for kids who need to take medication at school

Children who need to take medications at school may face obstacles from time to time when it comes to managing and living with their conditions. From asthma to diabetes, planning with your child and regularly communicating with your child’s school nurse is essential to ensuring that they stay healthy and happy throughout the school year.

Check out these articles on different conditions and how to plan for them.

What can I do to keep my child safe from germs?

School starting back up may bring some unwelcome guests into your home: germs. With the potential for children exchanging chewed-on pencils and swapping half-eaten snacks, being concerned is understandable.

Besides making sure kids take their vitamins and get plenty of rest, is there anything a parent can do to stop the germs from spreading through their family?

First and foremost, hand hygiene, or proper handwashing, is important for everyone. When you wash your hands, it not only removes dirt and grime but also helps get rid of germs. Check out these additional articles about being prepared for lice and preventing other germs.

Does my child need a back-to-school wellness exam?

Whether your kids are already back in school or enjoying their last couple of weeks of summer vacation, it’s a great time to get your kid in for a child wellness exam! As much as children may protest going to the doctor, yearly well visits are an important part of making sure your child stays as healthy as can be. Typical back-to-school checkups vary from state to state, and different school districts may have different requirements.

Make sure you keep up with the requirements set by your school district for your child to remain eligible for sports and other activities. Conditions like scoliosis and heart murmurs may affect their performance and may need to be screened for regularly. Check out these articles to learn more about what screenings your child may need at their next back-to-school wellness exam.

What vaccines do my kids need before starting school?

Winter is coming, and so is influenza season. To give your child the best possible chance at avoiding the flu and various other illnesses, keeping up with their vaccination schedule is extremely important. Check out these articles on the importance of vaccines and treatments for the illnesses they are trying to protect you from.

Does going back to school mean back to being bullied?

There may be nothing more crushing to a parent’s heart than hearing that someone is being mean to your child. Or, even worse, that your child is being left out by their peers. While bullying and excluding others isn’t something new, today’s social interactions don’t just take place in person. There’s a whole social network online to navigate—which means lots of new ways for children to feel excluded and let down.

There are a few things you can do to help support and empower your child as they navigate these life experiences. Check out the articles below for some advice written with the help of some Banner Health behavioral health experts.

How can I help my child with back-to-school anxiety?

Will I fit in? Will I make friends? Who will I sit with at lunch? The start of a new school year can be scary for some kids, particularly for students who may have just moved, suffer from separation anxiety or may not have many friends. As your child or teen grows, develops, and prepares for their future, stressful situations can make them feel like they are going to explode.

As parents, we want to provide the best for our kids. Guiding them through these challenging situations can be tough, but they are a necessary part of life. Check out these tips to address some of the many challenges facing your child on their way back to school.

How do I help my child through developmental milestones?

Understanding your child’s changing and emerging growth and development is an important part of parenting. As your child grows into a teenager, they may encounter physical, emotional and other common issues. Recognizing and treating those early can help them in the long run.

Check out these articles to help you better understand developmental milestones and how they can be used to guide your parenting journey.

What if my child is still doing virtual learning?

It’s fall, which means it’s also back-to-school time … well, sort of. For some families across the country, back to school is taking place at home virtually on Zoom, in Google Classroom or another platform.

While this may be a temporary solution until it’s safe to go back to in-person learning, learning online may present some unique challenges for your child (and you as their parent) that they would not have faced learning in the classroom. Use these tips to support your child’s development as they navigate virtual learning environments.

What do I do if my child is going off to college?

For many, August signals back to school. If you have a child starting college or moving back after spending the summer at home, you may need to take time to adjust to the whirlwind of emotions this time can carry. Whether you are dreading the back-to-school moving process or worried if they can handle any medical hurdles on their own, it is important to adjust to these changes in a healthy way. Check these articles written with Banner Health experts on how to tackle this time of year.

Parenting Children's Health