Back to School: Tips for preparing students to return

Routine is essential, doctor days.

Clark and Champaign County students are preparing to return to school this fall, and area health leaders are recommending that parents create a back-to-school plan for ensuring their children are physically and mentally ready to tackle the school year.

Dr. Jene Bramel with Mercy Health – Urbana Hospital Family Medicine and Pediatrics said that starting and keeping a consistent routine is crucial when going back to school, particularly for younger children. Sleep is also vital for a child’s development, and a good routine for the fall should start now.

Parents are also advised to talk to their health care provider to schedule a back-to-school wellness visit to ensure appropriate vaccines have been administered, depending on the age of the student, Bramel said.

“Children – especially those on the younger side – are often passing around contagious illnesses because they’re interacting with each other a lot and don’t always have as many boundaries at that age,” he said. “That’s why most students will have up to six or seven different illnesses throughout the course of the school year. It’s part of growing up and being around other people, but vaccination can help protect them.”

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Mercy Health provided tips on how to make the transition back to school easy:

  • Practicing listening skills ahead of the school year can benefit children of all ages prepare for the instructions given by teachers. One great way to practice is to have your child complete a variety of chores around the house each day. Not only does this allow them to practice following instructions, but it can also boost a child’s sense of responsibility, independence, and pride at home and in the classroom.
  • If your child struggles with anxiety or other mental health challenges, creating a sense of belonging and building strong, positive relationships among students, teachers and other parents can be beneficial in helping them cope with their feelings.
  • The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic continue to impact how children learn, even though much of life feels like it’s returning to normal: make sure your child feels supported and motivated at the start to help promote success all year long.

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