1) Routine: Establish a daily routine and have your kids stick with it. Waking up, going to bed and eating a meal should all occur at similar times each day, even on the weekends. Children thrive on routine and so do many adults, so having a solid one will help make days less stressful for the whole family.
2) Pack smart: Packing a nutritious school lunch each day is one of the most important back to school health tips for families. Reference ChooseMyPlate.gov to find healthy ideas for balanced lunches that include fruits, grain, vegetables, protein and dairy.
3) Drink healthy: Drinking just one can of soda a day increases a child’s risk of obesity by 60 percent, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. Choose healthier options to include in your child’s lunch, like 100 percent fruit juice or water.
4) Stop bullying: This is a topic we as parents have to stay on top of and is one we consider one of our top back-to-school health tips. Bullying can be physical, verbal or social. Have an open conversation with your kids about what bullying is and how to stop it. Visit stopbullying.gov for tips and toolkits.
5) Study well: Create a homework hub in your house that promotes good study habits. Select a space and stock it with paper and other supplies. Be sure to eliminate noise and other distractions like TV or mobile devices.
6) Prioritize sleep: Children 5 to 12 need 10-11 hours of sleep each night, according to the National Sleep Foundation. Adolescents needs 9 hours per night. This is also one of the important back to school health tips for families; both children and adults!
7) Carry safe: Choose a backpack for your child with wide, padded shoulder straps and a padded back. The backpack should never weigh more than 10 to 20 percent of your child’s body weight, states the AAP.
8) Wash well: Prevent the spread of germs at home and school by encouraging kids to wash their hands frequently. Use soap and water, and rub hands together for 20 seconds, which is roughly the time it takes to sing Happy Birthday twice.
9) Communicate: Stay involved in your kids’ education by asking them about school each day. Additionally, keep in touch with teachers through phone calls, emails and in-person meetings. Talking things out is one of those back to school health tips that often gets over-looked.
10) Drive safe: Many parents move kids up to the front seat too early. Buckle all children 12 and under in the back seat. Airbags can kill young children riding in the front seat, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.