Presbyterian | Your Story | Centennial Care | Summer 2024 3 At-home prep Before the first day of school, spend time with your child on some important issues. Transition to school sleep/wake schedule. A good night’s sleep will help your child concentrate, retain information, and prevent mood swings. To aid the change from vacation time to school time, figure out how many weeks it will take for your child to fall into an ideal sleep routine for school nights if they go to bed and wake up 15 minutes earlier every few days before school starts. Create a study area. Prepare a welllit place where your child can do their homework. Make sure it’s a quiet space without distractions. Choose a suitable backpack. For safety’s sake, a filled backpack should weigh no more than 10% to 20% of your child’s body weight. Adjust the backpack so the bottom meets your child’s waist. If your child’s load is heavy, consider a rolling backpack. And don’t forget to tuck an in-case-ofemergency card in the backpack. Talk to your kids about bullying. Bullying is linked to a range of educational and emotional problems. Make sure your child knows: • To seek a trusted adult for help if they are bullied • How to respond nonviolently to bullying • That you’re monitoring their texts and social media accounts for bullying behavior • That it’s never OK to bully someone, even if encouraged by others To-and-from-school prep Whether your child rides the bus, bicycles, or walks to school, take steps to ensure their safety. Review your child’s route to school in advance. Drive the route so your child knows what to expect. Or bicycle or walk the route with them. Set up carpooling shifts. If you prefer to drive your child, find other parents who are safety minded. Talk to your child about bus stop, bicycling, and walking safety. Make sure they know about crosswalk, biking, and walking protocols. Before-and-after-school care prep Arrange for caretaking. If you need help before or after school, look into responsible school programs, off-site institutions, or caretakers at your home or theirs. Life can get very busy, and things like vaccinations can be missed. If your child has missed any recommended vaccines, summer break might be a good time to catch up. Scheduling an appointment during a school break means your child won’t have to miss school. Vaccinations can also help keep other students healthy when they go back to class. Below is a list of vaccinations that your child should have by age group. • COVID-19 • Flu • Meningococcal conjugate vaccine Kids ages 13 to 18 • COVID-19 • Flu • COVID-19 • Flu • DTaP • Polio • MMR • Chickenpox Kids ages 2 to 3 Kids ages 4 to 6 Keeping track of your child’s vaccine status can be tough at times. You can always call your provider to ensure that your child is up to date on all their vaccines. Kids ages 7 to 10 • COVID-19 • Flu Kids ages 11 to 12 • COVID-19 • Flu • HPV • Tdap • Meningococcal conjugate vaccine Do your children have all their vaccines? Sources: American Academy of Pediatrics; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; Sleep Foundation For safety’s sake, a filled backpack should weigh no more than 10% to 20% of your child’s body weight.