Back-to-School Health Guide
Stephen McCulloh, MD, Family Medicine, Baton Rouge General Physicians
It’s hard to believe the new school year is here! Between supplies
and uniforms there’s a lot to do to get ready, but don’t forget
the most important one: your family’s health! Here are a few tips
to kick-start a healthy new school year for your family.
Healthy Meals: Provide a nutritious breakfast every morning for your children and help
them pack a healthy lunch. Drop in a few healthy snacks as well to prevent
your kids from buying salt- and sugar-packed vending machine foods. Easy-to-eat
fruits, veggie sticks and low-fat cheeses are good options.
Sleep Schedule: Ease your kids back into the school year routine by moving up bedtime
and wake-up time gradually over a few weeks. A good night’s rest
is key to optimal learning and physical health, and keeps your child focused
throughout the day.
Backpack Safety: Your child’s backpack should have broad shoulder
straps, a waist strap that keeps it firmly on the spine, and be no more
than 15% of your child’s weight.
Immunizations: Check with your family physician to be sure your child’s vaccine
record is up-to-date. Remember to get a flu vaccine – it’s
your best defense during flu season.
Vision Tests: Have your child’s vision checked to avoid missing out on classroom
lessons. Parents often realize their child needs glasses when they have
difficulty reading the board.
Wellness Checkups: Before participating in any sport, make sure a physician evaluates your
child’s general health and fitness level to avoid the risk of injury.
While you’re at it, make an appointment for your own annual wellness visit!
Emergency Contacts: Make sure to provide a current copy of your family’s emergency contact
list to your child’s teachers, school administrators and nurses.
Need a primary care doctor? To schedule an appointment with any of our
Baton Rouge General Physicians, please call (225) 763-4500.
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