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Back-to-School Prep

From the Show: Healthy Children
Summary: What should you do now to get the kids ready for school?
Air Date: 8/8/17
Duration: 16:28
Host: Melanie Cole, MS
Guest Bio: Katherine Williamson, MD
Dr. Kate WilliamsonDr. Katherine Williamson is a pediatrician in Orange County, California. She attended college at Pomona College of the Claremont Colleges, and went onto medical school at the University of California, San Francisco. She completed her pediatric residency at CHOC Children’s Hospital in Orange County. She now practices in a private practice pediatric group, SOCPA (Southern Orange County Pediatric Associates), and also serves as the Pediatric Chair at Mission Hospital.

Dr. Williamson is actively involved in the Orange County chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics where she serves as vice president. She has created a School Health Committee where she is working to improve communication and collaboration between pediatricians and schools to improve the health and well being of all kids in Orange County. She also serves as a media spokesperson for the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Back-to-School Prep
Summer’s ending. It’s time to start those back-to-school preparations!

Preparation for the First Day

  • Get your child back in the mental mindset of reading. Older children can get ahead by reading assigned books before school starts.
  • Adjust bedtime by an hour every few days until you’re back to the regular bedtime. Get back to the correct awakening time by adjusting the alarm clock bit by bit.
  • Help your child remember positive school experiences in the past to help conquer nerves. Normalize any nervousness. Your child isn’t the first person to have first day of school anxiety.
  • Get a well-fitted backpack for your child. The bottom should fit at the waist, ideally with a strap that wraps around the waist. Make sure it’s padded on the back and shoulders. He shouldn’t carry more than 10-20% of his body weight in the backpack.
  • Teach your child bus safety. Seat belts should be used if they are available. Staying in view of the bus driver means your child will be seen. Teach her not to walk behind the bus for safety.
  • Make sure you child eats breakfast. Protein is ideal. Stick to snacks that aren’t sugary.
  • Create a good homework space. No phones or devices when it’s homework time. Set up a distraction-free zone so your child can get down to business. Breaks are okay and important when there’s a lot of homework to be done.

School Start Times

The AAP recommends that middle and high schools should not commence before 8:30 a.m. Adolescents and teens need the extra hours of sleep. Their bodies aren’t ready for sleep before 10 p.m. or 11 p.m. so it’s tough for them to get enough sleep for an early school start.

Listen as Dr. Katherine Williamson joins Melanie Cole, MS, to share tips to get your child back in the school groove.
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