Back-to-School Health Checklist
1. Schedule a Well-Child VisitPrepare for a healthy school year by scheduling a yearly checkup to ensure your child is hitting their developmental milestones. Doctors recommend children get a yearly checkup to track growth progress, receive immunization shots, and check for any health concerns.
- Track your child’s developmental milestones with CDC’s free Milestone Tracker app.
2. Notify School of Medical Needs (Medications, Tube Feeding)Children who take medications during school hours are required to complete authorization forms. Emergency medications such as inhalers and insulin will also need to be accounted for. These forms will need to be signed by your child's healthcare provider. Notify the school of your child's medical conditions, including food allergies. This is extremely important for the well-being of your child. Tubies – For children going back to school with a feeding tube, it’s important to be prepared. Here are some tips for our tubie families.
- School Policies – Understand your school’s policies regarding tube feeding.
- Equipment Use – Make sure the school aids know how to safely use your child’s equipment.
- Educate Teachers & Students – Educate teachers and students by sharing resources. The Feeding Tube Awareness Foundation has great resources regarding feeding at school. Share the link below to prepare staff and students (https://www.feedingtubeawareness.org/feeding-at-school/).
- Backup Supplies – Have backup supplies for emergencies or mishaps. Talk to your school about having an “emergency kit” with extra supplies and clothes in case of leaks.
- Feeding Schedules – For kids on a g-tube feeding schedule: Get schedules completed by your healthcare provider and inform schools.
3. Make Healthy Eating HabitsStart eating healthier by making small, easy changes to your child's diet.
- Make Half the Plate Fruits and Vegetables – Eating colorful fruits and vegetables is important because they provide vitamins and minerals.
- Focus on Whole Fruits – Choose whole fruits: fresh, frozen, dried, or canned in 100% juice. Enjoy fruit with meals, as snacks, or as a dessert.
- Vary your Veggies – Try adding fresh, frozen, or canned vegetables to salads, sides, and main dishes. Choose a variety of colorful vegetables prepared in healthful ways: steamed, sauteed, roasted, or raw.
- Choose Whole Grains – Look for whole grains listed first or second on the ingredients list: try oatmeal, popcorn, whole-grain bread, and brown rice. Limit grain-based desserts and snacks, such as cakes, cookies, and pastries.
- Vary your Protein – Mix up your protein foods to include seafood, beans and peas, unsalted nuts and seeds, soy products, eggs, and lean meats and poultry. Try main dishes made with beans or seafood like tuna salad or bean chili.
- Drink Water instead of Sugary Drinks – Water is calorie-free. Non-diet soda, energy or sports drinks, and other sugar-sweetened drinks contain a lot of calories from added sugars and have few nutrients.
4. Adjust your Child’s Sleep ScheduleGradually adjust your child's sleep schedule by going to bed and waking up 5-15 minutes earlier each day. Do this a week or two before school starts. Restart the calming school-night bedtime routines such as bath time, pajama time, reading time, and any other routines you set in place. Calming bedtime routines and keeping your child active during the day prepares kids for a good night's sleep. Other tips that help with a good night’s sleep include turning off electronics and avoiding sugary snacks or drinks about an hour to two before bed. The amount of sleep your child needs depends on their age. Daily sleep guidelines by Children Health are listed below.
- Newborns: 14 to 17 hours/day
- Infants (4-11 months): 12 to 16 hours (including naps) of sleep for any 24-hour period
- Toddlers (1-2 years): 11 to 13 hours (including naps) for every 24-hour period
- Pre-schoolers (3-5 years): 10 to 13 hours (including naps) per 24-hour period
- School-aged children (6-12 years): 9 to 12 hours of sleep (not including naps)
- Teens: 8 to 10 hours per 24-hour period
Resources https://www.childrens.com/health-wellness/time-to-adjust-your-childs-sleep-schedule https://www.cdc.gov/healthyyouth/index.htm https://www.dietaryguidelines.gov