Back to school tips for parents

As summer draws to a close, families are getting ready for the start of a new school year and, if you plan ahead, you can fend off a frazzled first day of school. Here are some tips for what you should be doing now to help get your kids back on track for going back to class.

Dr. Annie Mack, PMG-Plaza pediatrician, spoke with KOIN about getting kids ready to return to school, including how to get kids back on a regular sleeping schedule, what immunizations parents should be aware of, what breakfast and lunch options make for good “brain” food and how to get them back to the school year routine.

“I recommend that now is the time you start the routine your child is going to have when your child goes back to school, making sure they go to bed early and wake up early.”

In general, teenagers should get 7 to 9 hours of sleep per night, and elementary age kids should get 9 to 10 hours every night.

On the first day of school, the average child loses 90 minutes of sleep.

Dr. Mack said a breakfast that includes protein, such as scrambled eggs or Greek yogurt, is also good. She also recommends they know how to properly wash their hands.

“When they go back make sure they know all about hand washing,” she said. “Sing the alphabet while they wash, covering cough with arm instead of their hand.”

Parents need to also make sure their children are up to date on their vaccinations. In Oregon, there is a series of four vaccines that are required for 4-6 year olds.

Dr. Kirsten Crowley, a pediatrician at PMG-Southwest Pediatrics also shared back-to-school tips in this KXL interview. She also recommends getting kids back on a routine - and to start early. She also has food recommendations for young, healthy bodies.