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Ask Dr. Nandi: Making the grade with healthy back to school prep

Posted at 5:42 PM, Aug 19, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-19 18:00:23-04

(WXYZ) — It’s that time of the year again, when children are getting ready to return to school. And to start the year off right, we have some health and safety tips all parents need to know.

I know what parents are going through right now. My kids are also heading back to school so there’s a lot of high energy at my house.

The kids are super excited about seeing their friends and learning new things, but they’re also a little nervous too. That first day can trigger a lot of emotion - especially for my youngest as he’s starting kindergarten.

So one thing my wife and I have been doing is talking with the kids and asking questions. It’s really important to have open communication as it lets kids know their feelings and thoughts matter. If you find that they’re worried or anxious, try to find the route cause and then problem solve with them.

Talk positively about school and let them know it’s normal to feel butterflies in their stomach and other students will feel the same too. And if your child struggled last year, let them know the new year is a fresh start and having a positive attitude is a great way to kick it off.

And if you can, try to visit the school before the year begins, meeting the teacher and seeing the classroom can be very helpful.

If your child is walking to school, go over traffic safety rules like how to cross roads and busy intersections. And to look for any cars that may be turning before they step onto the road.

I recommend young children be supervised by a parent or older sibling.

Now if your child takes the bus, good safety rules include not walking up to a moving bus – but waiting till the bus has stopped and the doors have opened before approaching. And again, be careful of cars. They are supposed to stop but accidents do happen.

And if your teen is driving, please remind them of school zone speeds and to not text and drive. It’s important for them to keep their eyes on the road at all times.

Question: What about germs, what should parents remind their kids to do?

Hand washing is number 1 on my list. I highly recommend parents to remind children to wash their hands using soap and water every time they use the bathroom.

And to wash before they eat lunch or a snack, and after they blow their nose. It’s a great way to remove germs and avoid getting sick.

Also teach them to sneeze or cough into their elbow. And parents, please don’t forget the flu shot will be out this fall. Getting vaccinated is very important when it comes to protecting your child’s health.