Tips to Make Kids' Return to School Successful

Tips to Make Kids' Return to School Successful

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Nadine Wimmer ReportingYou may be still rushing around trying to get your kids' clothes and school supplies, but it's also important to make sure your child's health issues aren't overlooked. The American Academy of Pediatrics offers the following advice:

Backpacks-An overweight pack can cause muscle strains and distort the child's posture. A loaded backpack should not weigh more than one-fifth of a child's weight.

Critical Information-On the first day of school, be sure to send updated health and emergency contact forms, including immunizations records, cell phone numbers and e-mail addresses.

Special Health Needs-If your child has a food allergy or asthma, make sure their medications are readily accessible.

School Lunch-Try to get your child's school to stock healthy choices such as fresh fruit, low-fat dairy products, water and 100 percent fruit juice in the vending machine. Keep in mind that drinking just one can of soda a day increases a child's risk of obesity by 60 percent.

Sleep-Many school-age children do not get enough sleep and this can take a serious toll on their performance in school.

Children ages 5 to 9 need 10 to 11 hours of sleep a night; those ages 10 to 14 need 9 to 10 hours a night, and those 14 to 18 need 8 to 9 hours of sleep.

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