Baby Your Baby: Back to school (health) checklist

KUTV Back to school 081817.JPG
Baby Your Baby: Back to school (health) checklist

(KUTV) Getting ready for the first day of school can be overwhelming. We go over a few checklist items for your kids and their health as the school year approaches.

Keira Larsen deals with chronic asthma and allergies. This can make her more susceptible to getting sick.

“I always have to keep my inhaler with me just in case,” says Keira.

As she gets ready to head back to school, one of the first things her parents completed was paperwork so she will be allowed to bring her medication to school.

“I have to get a sheet of paper and have the doctor sign it saying I will not share the inhaler and that it’s used for medical purposes,” says Keira.

Back to school is also a time to make sure your child is up-to-date on immunizations.

“Before kindergarten and seventh grade there are some boosters that you need,” says Dr. Kristina McKinley with the Primary Children’s Unit at Riverton Hospital.

Next, create a routine for your child. This means eating breakfast daily, drinking water throughout the day, and getting enough sleep.

“Kindergartners should probably get something like 10-13 hours of sleep in a 24-hour period, elementary school students more like 9-13, and high school students 8-10,” says Dr. McKinley.

Not enough sleep is associated with poor attention, lower scores, behavioral problems, and depression.

When shopping for a backpack there are a few things to look for. You want to make sure the shoulders and possibly the back is padded and that it has multiple compartments so weight can be evenly distributed. It’s important that once the backpack is loaded up it doesn’t weigh more than 15% of the child’s body weight. If they need to carry around more weight than that, then a rolling backpack is the safer way to go.

Before kids start school, go over proper hand washing techniques. This can be key in preventing illnesses throughout the year. It’s also a good idea to get a flu shot once it’s available this fall.

Finally, if your child is sick, keep them home from school. This is especially true if they have a fever or an active cough.

“For their own rest and recovery but also to keep them from spreading their illness to others,” says Dr. McKinley.

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