Last minute back-to-school checklist

The summer holiday is officially over and most parents are trying to make sure that they are prepared for the start of the new school year. Some parents may have prepped before the holidays but some things may have been overlooked. Here are some reminders:

Sleep patterns

Children function better with structures and routines to stick to. For parents, this means re-instituting an earlier bedtime. Depending on the age of the child, parents need to make sure that their kids are going to bed early enough to get the amount of sleep they need to make it through the day. Each age group needs a certain amount of sleep. Three to six-year-olds need 10 to 12 hours sleep, 7 to 12 year-olds need 10 to 11 hours and 12 to 18-year-olds need 8 to 9 hours sleep.

School supplies

Even though it is not always possible, it is better to get school supplies early. While each school and grade has its own list of what they expect students to bring to school with them, there are basics that you can get ahead of time. As “back-to-school” prices have increased substantially, parents will probably have to budget accordingly.

School clothes and lunch boxes

School uniforms and lunch supplies also need to be attended to. Parents can take advantage of advertised sales on clothing and lunch items. An advantage of buying now is that there is more of a selection available than if you had shopped earlier.

Try to stock up on healthy foods. It might be easy to pack your lunches with pre-made snacks, but a healthy diet is of utmost importance and junk food doesn’t fit into the equation. Make it easier for yourself by stocking up on healthy food like fruits, vegetables, whole-grain bread and lean protein. Take a few minutes during the weekend to cut up fruits and vegetables and prepare things like tuna, chicken and pasta salad or hard-boiled eggs for convenience in the mornings.  You can also buy plenty of containers for nutritious dinner leftovers. Consider getting an insulated lunch bag to allow more variety.

Backpacks

When you are looking to buy a backpack, keep in mind the number of items your child is going to have to carry to school. If your child is going to be carrying books back and forth on a daily basis, you want to get them a bag that is going be easy to carry and also be able to fit the number of books and stationery they need.

Stress

Back-to-school season is stressful for kids and parents alike, but too much stress can lead to a variety of health issues, including insomnia and sluggish immune systems. Help manage stress by talking to your children about anything that’s bothering them and be sure to not overload the schedule, including your own. Schoolwork and after-school activities are important, but it’s also essential to take time to relax, play and spend time together as a family. If you are stressed about how prepared your child is, it is better to take a deep breath and relax. Your child senses your stress and it could cause them anxiety. It typically takes only three days to get used to a new routine and schedule.

Hygiene

As you adjust to the first month of school, it’s a good idea to take a couple of precautionary measures to set your child up for a safe, healthy year. Children need to be taught good hygiene habits. With so many people around, germs are bound to be lurking in classrooms. To help your children avoid getting sick (and to prevent them from bringing germs home), it’s important to show them how to protect themselves. Teach them to wash their hands after using the toilet and before going to lunch or eating a snack. It may be a good idea to provide your children with an on-the-go hand sanitizer to use when washing their hands isn’t convenient.

Source: Capricorn Review