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The A to Z Back to School Checklist

With summer over, school routines are back in action. Whether your youngest just started kindergarten or you’re sending your teen to college, here are some tips to help you get into the back-to-school swing of things.

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Everything from prepping clothes to getting doctor appointments scheduled is on this comprehensive list of parenting tips for the back-to-school season.

Shop Strategically

Hitting the back-to-school sales without a plan is a sure way to overspend. Instead, make a strategic plan. Check your child’s stash of school supplies from last year to see if anything can be reused. Then, make a list of the recommended amount of supplies he or she will need.

Take a similar approach with clothes. Back-to-school time is a great opportunity to clear out your child’s entire closet. Have your child try on every piece of clothing to see what fits and what needs to be donated. This helps you shop strategically for the clothes needed most.

Make Healthy Lunch Plans

Planning ahead when it comes to lunches can make school mornings less hectic. If your child eats school lunches, make sure an adequate amount of money is deposited in the lunch account.

If you’re planning to pack lunches, make sure each meal contains a fruit or vegetable, protein source and complex carbohydrates (like whole wheat bread).

Go through Safety Protocols

Whether a child is walking to school alone or taking the bus, make sure that everyone is up to speed on safety protocols in the family.

Review everything from how to cross the street to how to contact a parent when things go amiss.

If older kids are home on their own after school, set up a check-in protocol whereby your kid checks in with you at work once they are home. An ounce of prevention is definitely worth a pound of cure when it comes to safety.

Make a “Home Sick” Plan

It’s inevitable: Eventually, one of the kids will be home sick. When parents are working, having a sick kid day come up unexpectedly can create real chaos.

Make sure that you have a plan in place before the sick day shows up and you get the call that your child is sick at school. Go through your work schedules and determine which day of the week would be easier for one parent to stay home.

Also keep track of how many sick or personal days you have, so that you don’t have to figure out these logistics at the last minute. If need be, call in the support of a trusted neighbor or babysitter to be part of your sick day emergency plan.

Establish Healthy Sleep Patterns

Make it easier for you and your child to transition back to a school schedule. During the summer, it is easy to let children stay up late and sleep in. A week or more before the first day of school, get children to bed earlier and get them up around the time they would wake up for school.

With this practice schedule, children will be well-rested and prepared to get started on a full day of school activities when their bodies are accustomed to getting up early and enjoying the recommended amount of sleep needed for their age.

This helps parents as well, since children are less likely to be fussy when they are rested and prepared to return to school.

Eat Well

Food is fuel for the body. When keeping kids healthy is your priority, getting your child the healthy foods he or she needs for optimal health is essential.

Get ready for the onslaught of germs and bacteria at school by building up a child’s immune system with healthy foods and good eating habits.

Children and adults who eat balanced meals that include a range of fruits and vegetables often experience fewer colds. In addition, a nutritious breakfast appears to benefit children as they focus and perform at school.

Consider Getting Eye Exams

Kids aren’t always the most vocal when they start developing eye issues, that’s why it’s important to be proactive when it comes to getting their eyes checked.

Poor eyesight can affect everything from grades to sports performance; busy teachers, too, might not always notice small signs like squinting or tilting the head to one side.

If you have ever asked yourself, “Does my kid need glasses?”, schedule an appointment at a kid-friendly optometrist’s office before their schedule gets too hectic and schoolwork starts piling up.

Immunizations and Checkups

Children attending public school are required to have certain vaccinations. Immunizations must be kept up to date and flu vaccines are often recommended.

Annual physical exams and a vision exam may also be necessary for a child to return to school.

Avoid waiting for the last minute and schedule appointments early.

Attending to vision issues with new prescriptions or therapies can improve a child’s performance in school and on the field. Vaccinations, physicals and vision exams are all important to starting off the school year on the right foot.

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