Back to School: Health & Safety Checklist

Parents are looking forward to it and kids are dreading it. You know what time it is- back to school! Buying the school supplies and sending kids off on the first day are the easy parts. Ensuring that your child has the healthiest and safest start to school possible is the challenge. Here is a to-do list that can help you remember all the important tasks before school begins.

1. Checkups
Scheduling checkups before school begins can eliminate the problem of kids missing a school day for an appointment. It is important to have vision screenings done before the school year to ensure that your child can see properly during class. You should also check with the doctor to make sure your child is up to date on all immunizations required for school so you don't find out at the last minute! Also, make sure your child's school has contact information for their healthcare providers, pharmacy and urgent care location.

2. Schedules
Make a plan with your child for the upcoming school year. This can include any activities or sports they are a part of as well as homework. Having a schedule can help kids know what they need to accomplish and ensure they have adequate time for everything on their plate.

3. General Health
Kids who have lounged around all summer may need a reminder on healthy habits. Make sure you begin having your child go to bed at a reasonable hour so he or she is getting enough sleep. They should also be practicing healthy eating habits which can help with energy and focus. 

4. Transportation 
Talk to your child about how they will be getting to and from school. For bus riders, this can be a reminder about bus rules and safety for waiting at the bus stop, especially if they wait for the bus without a parent present. Kids who ride a bike or walk to school may need safety reminders like checking for cars or staying in a group. For teens who drive to school, go over driving safely again. This includes speed limits, following road rules and paying attention to signs, and no phone use while driving.

5. School Paperwork 
Many schools will give you paperwork to fill out ahead of the first day with important safety information such as emergency contacts and transportation in case of emergency school closure. Make sure your child knows who these contacts are or what to expect in case of inclement weather or other emergencies so they are not blind sighted if something were to happen.

A new school year can be exciting and fun for kids of all ages as they are moving forward in their lives. As parents, our job is to help them be safe and healthy during these all important years as they grow and mature.