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4 Keys to Back-to-School Success

High school kids

As you stock up on notebooks, pencils, and must-have fall fashions, and pull the backpack from its summer hiding place (or purchase a new one), here are a few other tips for making a smooth transition back to the classroom.

Sleep is an Important Factor

Children who are sleep-deprived are inattentive, hyperactive, emotionally unstable, and have difficulty concentrating.

For teens who are juggling sports practice or an after-school job in addition to a heavy course load, a consistent sleep-wake schedule will help them to be more efficient learners.

For all ages, limiting exposure to electronics and media at least 1 hour prior to bedtime promotes the brain’s natural hormonal changes that induce sleepiness.

Jitters are Normal

Parents: Often talking with your child to identify concerns and then giving practical suggestions is all that’s necessary to allay fears.

If your child is experiencing a more significant event such as entering kindergarten, transitioning to a new school, or leaving for college, you’ll want to offer more extensive preparation and information. Many children like to talk at bedtime. Resist the urge to hustle them off to bed and listen to their insights and concerns.

Food is the Body’s Fuel

Stress the importance of breakfast. If you stock and serve only healthy options in your home, your child will eat a healthy diet. Encourage your elementary age child to pack their lunchbox with you so they are enthused to eat it. For the college bound, discuss the behaviors that promote the “freshman 15,” such as late night noshing, endless choices in the cafeteria, and drinking extra calories. Encourage your college kid to make time for exercise, to promote physical fitness and for stress relief.

Health is the Foundation for Attendance and Success

If your child has not had a check-up in the past year, schedule a visit. Make sure your child has all of the recommended immunizations—even your college kid may be due—and now is a great time to think about getting the flu vaccine. Children should see the dentist twice a year and school-age children should have their vision checked annually as well.

author name

Jennifer S. Ammons, MD

Jennifer S. Ammons, MD, FAAP, is a pediatrician with Roseville Pediatrics. Dr. Ammons is a graduate of the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and completed her residency at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC. Her special areas of interest include child safety, infectious diseases, and immunizations.

Call: 717-569-6481

About LG Health Hub

The LG Health Hub features breaking medical news and straightforward advice to help individuals of all ages make healthy choices and reach their wellness goals. The blog puts articles by trusted Lancaster General Health clinical experts, good 'n healthy recipes, videos, patient stories, and health risk assessments at your fingertips.


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