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The Lake News Online
  • Four tips to get the school year started right

  • A new school year is in sight, but after a few months of fun in the sun and on the water, it can be difficult to find a routine again. Try these simple tips to ensure your kids start the year off right.
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    • Recommended Back-to-School Immunizations

      The following immunization schedule for school-age children is recommended by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Academy of Fam...

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      Recommended Back-to-School Immunizations

      The following immunization schedule for school-age children is recommended by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Academy of Family Physicians.

      4-6 years

      Diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis (DTaP)

      Measles, mumps and rubella (MMR)

      Polio (IPV)

      Chickenpox (varicella)

      11-12 years

      Human papillomavirus (HPV)

      Tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis (Tdap)

      Meningococcal (MCV)

  • A new school year is in sight, but after a few months of fun in the sun and on the water, it can be difficult to find a routine again. Try these simple tips to ensure your kids start the year off right.
     
    Hit the Hay
    “For many children and teens, summer might mean late nights and sleeping in,” says Lake Regional Pediatrician Maria Bernabe, M.D., FAAP. “However, as the school year approaches, returning to a normal sleep schedule is crucial to good health and school performance.”
    School-aged children should get 10 to 11 hours of sleep each night, and teens need 8.5 to 9.5 hours for optimum performance.
    “Maintaining a regular bedtime makes it easier for anyone to fall asleep at night and wake up in the morning,” Dr. Bernabe says. “And powering down all electronics well before bedtime helps the body relax and fall asleep easier.”
     
    Get a Jump Start
    Skimping on breakfast isn’t just a problem for adults, but children and teens who have an unhealthy breakfast can suffer, too.
    “A healthy breakfast will refuel the body and help get the day started off right,” says Lake Regional Dietitian Anita Marlay, R.D., L.D. “Children should eat a balanced breakfast that includes whole grains, low-fat protein, low-fat dairy and fruits or vegetables.”
    According to the American Dietetic Association, children who eat a healthy breakfast are more likely to concentrate batter; have better problem-solving skills and hand-eye coordination; be more alert, creative and physically active; and miss fewer days of school.
    “If your child’s school doesn’t offer a nutritious breakfast, make sure they get one at home,” Marlay says. “It’s that important.”
    Marlay suggests oatmeal, cold cereal with a side of fruit, a fruit and low-fat yogurt smoothie, multigrain pancakes with fruit or yogurt or whole-grain waffles and peanut butter.
     
    Be Active
    “Most kids spend four to six hours each day with electronics,” says Lake Regional Pediatrician Shari Neill, M.D., M.S., FAAP. “Offer alternative activities after school and on weekends, like family bike rides, walking the dog or exploring a nearby park, to help them be more active.”
    The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends children and teens get 60 minutes or more of physical activity each day for good overall health.
    “Make activity seem like play, not work,” Dr. Neill says. “Look for fun ways to be active as a family. Make things a friendly competition or play games like flashlight tag. You can even create an obstacle course in your own back yard.”
    Page 2 of 2 - Activities aren’t just fun, they help build strong bones and muscles.
     
    Check It Out
    Lake Regional Pediatrician Trent Russell, M.D., MHA, FAAP, recommends an annual physical for every member of the family.
    “Set the example,” Dr. Russell says. “Physicals allow pediatricians and family physicians to check out any health concerns a parent or child may have and to make sure all immunizations and vaccines are up to date.”
    The beginning of the school year is a great time to schedule an appointment with your child’s doctor. For students entering middle school or high school, a physical may be required for participation in school sports and activities.
    “A physical helps identify any underlying health conditions, like asthma or heart disease,” Dr. Russell says. “These could be a problem, especially if the child plays sports or is very active.”

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