TYLER, Texas (KLTV) – Summer is coming to an end, and that means it’s time to start prepping for back to school.
Although clothes, shoes, and supplies may be on the top of your list, experts say you should also consider your child’s health when sending them back to the classroom.
Purchasing individual school supplies, washing and cleaning backpacks and supplies at the start of each month, and keeping both sanitation wipes and hand sanitizer in your child’s backpack are all essential to their health and wellness throughout the year.
UT Tyler nursing instructor Ryleigh Smith said that talking to your children about these things ahead of time will help ensure a safe and healthy school year.
“We should also teach them to sneeze and cough into the sleeve of their clothing, not on their hands to minimize transmission through that hand spread. and then we also want to teach them not to share drinking cups, or water bottles, or utensils with other children,” said Smith.
Understanding your child’s personal health needs is also essential to a virus-free school year.
“Parents should also be aware that children with underlying respiratory conditions like asthma, or who were premature at birth, are at the most risk for contracting these respiratory illnesses so they should talk to their primary care provider about ensuring that their baseline health issues are well managed prior to us entering the winter respiratory illness season,” said Smith.
Nurse Smith and Whitehouse ISD Director of Counseling, Leigh Anne Barber, both say your child’s sleeping schedule also plays a huge role in the preparation of the new year.
“Just getting prepared and going to sleep on time, and getting bedtime routines together are very, very important because some of them have been staying up so late and sleeping in, and they need to get their time clocks switched a little bit,” said Barber.
Other ways to mentally prepare your child for the school year include eating meals at the time you would eat during the regular school year and talking to your child about their new grade level.
It is also recommended to begin reading to your child everyday, and having an hour window between the last screen time and going to bed.
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