Friday, August 14, 2015

It’s back to school season!




Is it our imagination or did the summer fly by? Hard to believe it's time for school to begin!

Remember that the Naperville office has a walk-in clinic from 8:00 - 9:00 am each weekday.  This is especially helpful when you are unsure if your child is well enough to go to school that day or not.

Our Bolingbrook office is open two evenings each week and on most Saturdays.

Here’s some helpful health and safety tips from The American Academy of Pediatrics for the school year.




MAKING THE FIRST DAY EASIER 
  • Find another child in the neighborhood with whom your student can walk to school or ride on the bus.
  • If you feel it is needed, drive your child (or walk with her) to school and pick her up on the first day.
BACKPACK SAFETY
  • Choose a backpack with wide, padded shoulder straps and a padded back.
  • Pack light. Organize the backpack to use all of its compartments. Pack heavier items closest to the center of the back. The backpack should never weigh more than 10 to 20 percent of your child's body weight.
  • Always use both shoulder straps. Slinging a backpack over one shoulder can strain muscles.
TRAVELING TO AND FROM SCHOOL 

School Bus 
  • Remind your child to wait for the bus to stop before approaching it from the curb.
  • Make sure your child walks where she can see the bus driver (which means the driver will be able to see her, too).
  • Remind your student to look both ways to see that no other traffic is coming before crossing the street, just in case traffic does not stop as required.
  • Your child should not move around on the bus.
  • If your child's school bus has lap/shoulder seat belts, make sure your child uses one at all times when in the bus.
Car
  • All passengers should wear a seat belt or use an age- and size-appropriate car safety seat or booster seat.
  • Your child should ride in a belt-positioning booster seat until the vehicle's seat belt fits properly (usually when the child reaches about 4' 9" in height and is between 8 to 12 years of age).
  • All children younger than 13 years of age should ride in the rear seat of vehicles.
  • Require teen drivers to use seat belts, limit the number of passengers, and do not allow eating, drinking, cell phone conversations, texting or other mobile device use to prevent driver distraction. Limit nighttime driving and driving in inclement weather.
Bike 
  • Always wear a bicycle helmet, no matter how short or long the ride.
  • Ride on the right, in the same direction as auto traffic.
  • Use appropriate hand signals.
  • Respect traffic lights and stop signs.
  • Wear bright-colored clothing to increase visibility. White or light-colored clothing and reflective gear is especially important after dark.
  • Know the "rules of the road."
Walking to School 
  • Identify other children in the neighborhood with whom your child can walk to school.  
  • Be realistic about your child's pedestrian skills. Because small children are impulsive and less cautious around traffic, carefully consider whether or not your child is ready to walk to school without adult supervision.
  • If your children are young or are walking to a new school, walk with them the first week or until you are sure they know the route and can do it safely.
  • Bright-colored clothing will make your child more visible to drivers.
EATING DURING THE SCHOOL DAY
  • Studies show that children who eat a nutritious breakfast function better. They do better in school, and have better concentration and more energy.
  • Most schools regularly send cafeteria menus home and/or have them posted on the school's website. Pack lunches on days when the main course is one your child prefers not to eat.
  • Look into what is offered in school vending machines. Vending machines should stock healthy choices such as fresh fruit, low-fat dairy products, water and 100 percent fruit juice.  
  • Each 12-ounce soft drink contains approximately 10 teaspoons of sugar and 150 calories. Drinking just one can of soda a day increases a child's risk of obesity by 60%. Choose healthier options to send in your child's lunch.
BULLYING 

Bullying can be physical, verbal, or social. It can happen at school, the playground, school bus, in the neighborhood, over the Internet, or through mobile devices like cell phones. 

When Your Child Is Bullied 
  • Help your child learn how to respond by teaching your child how to:
    1. Look the bully in the eye.
    2. Stand tall and stay calm in a difficult situation.
    3. Walk away.
  • Teach your child how to say in a firm voice. 
    1. "I don't like what you are doing."
    2. "Please do NOT talk to me like that."
    3. "Why would you say that?"
  • Teach your child when and how to ask a trusted adult for help.
  • Encourage your child to make friends with other children.
  • Support activities that interest your child.
  • Alert school officials to the problems and work with them on solutions.
  • Monitor your child's social media or texting interactions so you can identify problems before they get out of hand.
When Your Child Is the Bully 
  • Be sure your child knows that bullying is never OK.
  • Set firm and consistent limits on your child's aggressive behavior.
  • Be a positive role mode. Show children they can get what they want without teasing, threatening or hurting someone.
  • Use effective, non-physical discipline, such as loss of privileges.
BEFORE AND AFTER SCHOOL CHILD CARE 
  • During early and middle childhood, youngsters need supervision. A responsible adult should be available in the morning and supervise them after school until you return home from work.
  • If a family member will care for your child, communicate the need to follow consistent rules set by the parent regarding discipline and homework.
  • Children approaching adolescence (11- and 12-year-olds) should not come home to an empty house in the afternoon unless they show unusual maturity for their age.
  • Children should have a set time when they are expected to arrive at home and should check in with a neighbor or with a parent by telephone.
  • If you choose a commercial after-school program, there should be a high staff-to-child ratio, and the rooms and the playground should be safe.
DEVELOPING GOOD HOMEWORK AND STUDY HABITS
  • Create an environment that is conducive to doing homework. Children need a consistent work space in their bedroom or another part of the home that is quiet, without distractions, and promotes study.
  • Schedule ample time for homework.
  • Establish a household rule that the TV and other electronic distractions stay off during homework time.
  • Supervise computer and Internet use.
  • Be available to answer questions and offer assistance, but never do a child's homework for her.
  • If your child is struggling with a particular subject, and you aren't able to help her yourself, a tutor can be a good solution.
  • Some children need help organizing their homework. Checklists, timers, and parental supervision can help overcome homework problems.
  • If your child is having difficulty focusing on or completing homework, discuss this with your child's teacher. 
  • Establish a good sleep routine. Insufficient sleep is associated with lower academic achievement in middle school, high school and college, as well as higher rates of absenteeism and tardiness. The optimal amount of sleep for most adolescents is in the range of 8.5 to 9.5 hours per night.

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