Another school year is quickly approaching, especially for our Arizona students. Dr. Nichole Shiffler discusses recommendations below for school readiness in school-aged children and adolescents.
One way to maintain good health this school year is to prevent illnesses or reduce illness severity with vaccinations. For those children that received the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, the CDC recommends a booster at least five months after the final dose in the primary series. With increased vaccination rates, there is a lower disease burden, reducing the rates of illnesses.
Anxiety over a new situation is a natural and developmental part of childhood. Make the first day back easier by rehearsing the new situation. Take your child to the new school or classroom. If possible, attend a "Meet the Teacher" or orientation night. Remind your child that most children will also be nervous about returning to school. Ask them directly about what might be making them anxious and help problem-solve ways to encounter their new situation with ease. Consider walking or driving your child to school on the first day to reduce potential stressors.
Children who do not get adequate sleep can have trouble maintaining focus during the school day. Aim to adjust your child’s sleep schedule the week prior to the start of school. Make sure to have all electronic devices turned off at a minimum of one hour before bedtime. And consider limiting social media use to a maximum of one hour per day.
COVID-19 illness rates have recently increased. Encourage your child to wear a mask when in close contact with others and for ten days if they come into close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19. Children should stay home when ill. Proper handwashing and hand sanitizing can help to prevent the spread of illnesses. Reinforce the appropriate technique for covering sneezes and coughs.
If there is anything you or your child would like addressed before or after school starts, bring your child to Be Well Medical Primary Care for an exam.
Contact Be Well Medical Primary Care at (480) 219-9900 to schedule a wellness visit or sports physical or if there is anything else we can do to assist in a healthy school year.