RN Remedies for a Smooth Back to School Transition

RN Remedies for a Smooth Back to School Transition

A Nurse's Back to School Transition Tips

It’s time to trade in the beach and lazy days for new pencils, early mornings, and the classroom. The transition between summer break and school is not always easy.  To figure out how best to smooth out this transition, I asked three groups of experts to give me their opinion on what was important during this time: Susan Turkel, MD, Chief of Psychiatry at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, a few teachers I know, and other moms.

What I gathered from talking to these experts is that there are a lot of things to consider when helping your child get ready to go back to school.

Get on School Schedule Ahead of Time

A couple of weeks before the first day of school, you can get your child back on a school schedule by getting up early and going to bed at a reasonable time. Your child’s circadian rhythm will thank you, as will their teacher when your child is bright-eyed and ready to learn in class.

Help with Back to School Anxiety

If your children enjoyed school with a solid group of friends, liked their teacher, etc. the previous year, they will likely have a smoother transition than those who had a rough time. For example, if your children complain of a headache or stomachache and they appear fine, they may be trying to take a “sick day.” If this happens, talk to your child and try to get to the root of the problem.

Health Comes First

Back to school season is a good time of year for your child’s yearly physical and eye exam.  If your child is playing sports, now is a good time to get that sports physical form filled out. It is very important to tell the school nurse about any allergies to food or medicine your child has. Also, send your child to school with some hand sanitizer in their backpack and teach them about washing their hands.

What to Do If Your Child Gets Sick

If your children get sick, here are some ways to keep them and their classmates safe:

  • Remind your child to cover their mouth when they cough or sneeze.
  • Rest and plenty of fluids is the fastest and best way to get over a cold and flu.
  • If your children have a fever, are vomiting or having diarrhea, keep them at home and contact their pediatrician.

Encourage a Healthy Diet

A balanced breakfast is the most important step of the day, so make sure your child is up early enough to have breakfast. A balanced breakfast is one that is high in protein and keeps your child’s energy high, so they perform well in the classroom.

Examples of a balanced breakfast include:

  • Oatmeal (not pre-flavored) with fruit and milk
  • Eggs with whole grain toast and a piece of fruit
  • Whole grain cereal (low sugar content) with milk and fruit

For lunch, pack healthy meals with protein, complex carbohydrates, fruits and vegetables.  Complex carbohydrates usually incorporate whole grains like granola bars, whole grain bread, whole grain crackers and fresh fruit, like apples. Avoid sugary drinks and desserts that might cause a blood sugar crash right after lunch. Blood sugar crashes can make your child sleepy and less able to focus in class. Sugary drinks and desserts can also contribute to tooth decay and may also cause unwanted weight gain that can put your child at risk for Type 2 diabetes.  Instead, try to manage their sweet tooth with more “whole” foods, like fresh fruit or fruit leather that has been made without added sugar.  It has lots of fiber that will keep your child feeling full longer. For drinks, try water or milk. Water keeps your child hydrated and feeling alert. Milk gives a boost of protein and calcium for energy and strong bones. And try to use organic options when possible!

Continue reading at WeTreatKidsBetter.org! Rachel talks about the importance of safety and not talking to strangers, during the back to school transition.

~ Rachel Blackburn, MA, CRRN, Clinical Care Coordinator, Division of Pediatric Rehabilitation Medicine

Children’s Hospital Los Angeles’ RN Remedies® Program is an award winning blog program that leverages the child health expertise of nurses as a way to share knowledge outside of the hospital’s walls. It’s an opportunity for Children’s Hospital Los Angeles nurse bloggers to answer tough questions asked by you, our loyal readers and parents on the clinical floors of the hospital. Their expertise makes them perfect contributors to your weekly newsfeed—people you can trust, delivering health information in a language you can understand.

This post is solely for informational purposes. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for medical advice. Before undertaking any course of treatment or dietary/health changes, you should seek the advice of your physician or other health care provider.

We aim to provide you with the most honest and credible information possible. This article was reviewed for accuracy by The Honest Team and was written based on trusted sources that are linked at the bottom of the article.