The following health and safety tips are adapted from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).
The first day
Remind your child that there are probably a lot of students who are uneasy about the first day of school. It’s normal to be nervous. This may be at any age.
Be positive. She’ll see old friends and meet new ones. Refresh her positive memories about previous years.
Find another child in the neighborhood with whom your student can walk to school or ride on the bus.
Most schools send schedules of cafeteria menus home or have them posted on the school’s website. With this information, and your child’s preferences you can plan a week of healthy lunches.
Learn about your child’s school wellness policy and get involved in school groups to put it into effect.
Each 12-ounce soda has about 10 teaspoons of sugar and 150 calories. Drinking just one can of soda a day increases a child’s risk of obesity by 60 percent. Choose healthier options to send in your child’s lunch.
Developing good study habits
Children need a work space in their bedroom or another part of the home that is quiet, without distractions, and promotes study.
Schedule plenty of time for homework.
No TV and other electronics during homework time.
Answer questions and offer help, but never do a child’s homework for her.
Checklists, timers, and parental supervision can help overcome homework problems.
If your child is having a hard time with homework, discuss this with your child’s teacher, school counselor, or health care provider.
Bullying can be physical, verbal, or social. It can happen at school, on the playground, on the school bus, in the neighborhood, and now more commonly over the internet, or through smart phones.
When your child is bullied
Help your child learn how to respond by teaching your child how to:
Look the bully in the eye.
Stand tall and stay calm.
Teach your child how to say in a firm voice:
“I don’t like what you are doing.”
“Please do NOT talk to me like that.”
Teach your child when and how to ask a trusted adult for help.
Support activities that interest your child.
Alert school officials to the problems and work with them to solve them.
Monitor your child’s social media or texting so you can find problems before they get out of hand.
When your child is the bully
Be sure your child knows that bullying is never OK.
Set firm and consistent limits on your child’s aggressive behavior.
Be a positive role model. Show children they can get what they want without teasing, threatening or hurting someone.
Use effective, non-physical discipline, like loss of privileges or time out.
Find practical solutions with the school and parents of the children your child has bullied.
When your child sees bullying
Tell your child not to cheer on or even quietly watch bullying.
Encourage your child to tell a trusted adult about the bullying.
Encourage your child in telling bullies to stop.
For more information go to www.healthychild-ren.org/English/news/Pages/Back-to-School-Tips.
Healthy Active Hood River County (HAHRC) is our community healthy living coalition. We promote wellness through increased physical activity, healthy eating, tobacco use prevention, behavioral health, prevention of addictions and policy and environmental change. Join us at our next meeting September 22nd 11:30am-1:00pm at Providence Hood River Hospital Boardroom.