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Your Back-to-School Health Checklist (page 2)

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Updated on Jul 29, 2013

Good Fuel for a Healthy Body

A healthy breakfast is an important start to a day of learning. Keep quick, healthy options on hand—whole-grain breads and cold cereals, quick oatmeal and hot cereals, yogurt, cottage cheese, fruit etc. to ensure breakfast time goes smoothly. And don't forget lunch—easy-to-carry veggies, fruits, dairy products, lean meats, whole grains and wholesome snacks will help keep the energy, and attention, high through the afternoon.

Weigh the Backpack

Experts recommend that a child's backpack weigh no more than 10 to 15 percent of his body weight, to reduce the chance of back pain or injury. Kids' backpacks can cause back, shoulder and neck pain when they're too heavy and worn for numerous hours throughout the day. The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons recommends choosing a lightweight or rolling backpack that has two wide, padded shoulder straps and a padded back, as well as a waist strap.

Reduce First-day Anxiety

Many kids, especially those entering school for the first time and those switching schools, experience some anxiety about the first day of school. Parents can help ease this by talking about what to expect on the first day, choosing a special outfit to wear, and packing lunch and the backpack with all necessary supplies the evening before.

Parents should also make sure that emergency phone numbers on file at school are up-to-date, and that the school nurse or your child's teacher has the necessary instructions for any condition that your child might need special care for (asthma, allergies, etc.).

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