Affinity Health Plan

  • Health Awareness Series: August 2016 - Back-to-School Health and Safety Tips

    August 31, 2016

    Back-t-School Health and Safety Tips
    Getting ready for a new school year can be exciting, but also quite overwhelming. There are things you need to do to keep your children healthy and safe in school. This checklist will help you make sure that you’ve covered all the bases:

    Medical checklist:

    • Yearly physical
      • Make sure your child can see what’s on the blackboard and read the words on his or her notebook, and can hear the teacher speak. Have their vision and hearing checked every year.
       
    • Up to date on immunization/shots
    • Make sure your kids’ shots are up to date, before the school year and throughout the year. Your doctor can tell you what shots you need to get.
    •  
    • Yearly dental check-up
    • Yearly sports physical if your child plays sports
      • For your child’s health and safety, schedule a check-up with their doctor before he or she plays in a sport. 
       

    General checklist:

    • Equip your child with the school and sports supplies on the list provided by the teacher.
    • Look out for back-t-school specials and promotions.
    • Start to get your children used to a school-year bedtime schedule now.
    • Collect all school correspondence and forms as they arrive; begin to fill them out.

    While at School:

    • Tell your child he or she must know the rules: no running in halls or on stairs, follow directions for fire drills, etc.
    • Make sure your children have the right equipment to keep them safe while they play sports: helmets, eye protection, shin guards, etc.
    • Make sure the school knows about any of your child’s special medical needs.
    • Find out what the school does in emergencies. Make sure strangers can’t walk into the school unnoticed.
    • Check to see that the playground is safe. It should be free of peeling paint, rust and sharp edges. The ground should be soft enough to cushion falls.
    • To avoid getting or spreading germs, remind your children to wash their hands often, and to cover their mouths when coughing and sneezing. Tell them not to share food or drinks with friends.

    Between school and home:

    • Walking to school
      • Walk on the sidewalk. If there is no sidewalk, walk facing the traffic.
      • Look both ways a few times before crossing the street.
      • Never run out between cars.
       
    • Riding a bicycle
      • Your child must always wear a helmet.
      • Ride on the right side of the road, with traffic. Ride in single file.
      • Come to a full stop before crossing the road.
       
    • On the subway or bus
      • Wait at the bus stop. Stand away from the curb.
      • Wait until the bus leaves the stop before you and your child cross the street. Wait for the WALK signal.
      • Stay in your seat on the bus. If bus has seat belts, use them!
      • The subway is not a playground. Children should stand back from the edge and NEVER run around or move between subway cars while in motion.
      • Watch the gap between the platform and the train door.
      • Hold the hands of very young children going up and down stairs or escalators.
       
    • Car
      • Always use a car or booster seat that fits your child.
      • Always wear a seat belt.
       

    General Health Tips

    • Sleep
      • Establish good sleep habits. Children should have at least 8 hours of sleep per night. Enough sleep each night can help your child focus and do well in school.
      • Set your kids’ sleep schedules to “school time” two weeks before the first day of school.
       
    • Good Nutrition
      • A nutritious breakfast will help your child focus and do better in school.
      • Students who eat breakfast are more alert during class.
      • The right foods combined with enough rest will help fight off infections. 
       

    To learn more, please visit:
    American Academy of Pediatrics “Back to School Tips": https://www.aap.org/en-us/about-the-aap/aap-press-room/news-features-and-safety-tips/pages/back-to-school-tips.aspx

    Sources:
    Healthy Women, "Top 5 Back-to-School Health Tips for Moms": http://www.healthywomen.org/content/article/top-5-back-school-health-tips-moms
    New York State, "Public Transportation Safety Kids Page": http://www.safeny.ny.gov/Kids/kid-tran.htm


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