Friday, July 31, 2009

Back To School Tips

As you prepare your child for a return to school, keep these tips in mind to be sure they have a safe and happy school year.

The following health and safety tips are from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP):

Remind your child that she is not the only student who is a bit uneasy about the first day of school. Teachers know that students are anxious and will make an extra effort to make sure everyone feels as comfortable as possible.

Point out the positive aspects of starting school: It will be fun. She'll see old friends and meet new ones. Refresh her positive memories about previous years, when she may have returned home after the first day with high spirits because she had a good time.

Find another child in the neighborhood with whom your youngster can walk to school or ride with on the bus.

If you feel it is appropriate, drive your child (or walk with her) to school and pick her up on the first day.

Choose a backpack with wide, padded shoulder straps and a padded back.

Pack light. Organize the backpack to use all of its compartments. Pack heavier items closest to the center of the back. The backpack should never weigh more than 10 to 20 percent of the your child’s body weight.

Always use both shoulder straps. Slinging a backpack over one shoulder can strain muscles.
Consider a rolling backpack. This type of backpack may be a good choice for students who must tote a heavy load. Remember that rolling backpacks still must be carried up stairs, and they may be difficult to roll in snow.

Most schools regularly send schedules of cafeteria menus home. With this advance information, you can plan on packing lunch on the days when the main course is one your child prefers not to eat.

Try to get your child's school to stock healthy choices such as fresh fruit, low-fat dairy products, water and 100 percent fruit juice in the vending machines.

Each 12-ounce soft drink contains approximately 10 teaspoons of sugar and 150 calories. Drinking just one can of soda a day increases a child's risk of obesity by 60%. Restrict your child's soft drink consumption.

As always, if you have any concerns about your child's foot health, please call the office to set up an appointment. 419-423-1888

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