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How to have a healthy back-to-school season | 2 Your Well-Being

We are just weeks away from most Triad students heading back to school.

GREENSBORO, N.C. — Back-to-school time is around the corner. Many Triad children will be heading back in a few weeks. On today's 2 Your Well-Being, we talked with Dr. Nicole Chandler, a pediatrician with Cone Health, about steps to take for a healthy school year.  

Back-to-school immunizations

Dr. Chandler says vaccines are our first line of defense against serious illness. Many people have gotten behind on their shots during the pandemic, but Dr. Chandler says you can easily set up an immunization appointment by calling your pediatrician.

Here's a full list of shots required for school.

As for COVID-19 shots and boosters, Dr. Chandler says both the CDC and American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommend kids 6 months and older get a COVID-19 shot, and kids 5 years and older should also get boosted.

Back-to-school sleep schedule  

Dr. Chandler says you should start getting your children back on a normal, school year sleep schedule at least a few weeks before school starts. It will help get them prepared for those early morning wake-up calls because Dr. Chandler says you don't want them to start the new year exhausted.

Grade school kids should get 10 to 12 hours of sleep each night according to Dr. Chandler. And she says high school-aged kids should get at least 10 hours of sleep.

Back-to-school stress

Dr. Chandler says young kids could say they have a bellyache or headache as a sign of stress or anxiety that they don't want to go to school.

You may also see your child scared of things they're not normally fearful of, or having bad behavior when they're normally a good kid.

Dr. Chandler recommends keeping a positive attitude and talking to your kids about anything that might be bothering them.

As for stressed parents, Dr. Chandler recommends you think about what you're worried about. Is it specific? If so, you can try to find out the answers to what's causing your fears. Set up a meeting with your child's teacher. 

If your fears are the same as your child's, like concerns about making friends or being in a new environment, Dr. Chandler says try not to let your anxiety spread to your child. She stresses keeping a positive attitude. 

Sports physicals

When you're taking your child for their regular well-child exam, don't forget you can get your doctor to fill out a sports physical form.

Dr. Chandler says the form allows the doctor to tell your child's athletic coach what problems they may have, what signs the coach should look out for, and what to do in an emergency.

The form doesn't have to be completed in the summer either. Dr. Chandler says you can get it filled out anytime during the year.

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