Doctors give advice on to how to prepare kids for back to school - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Doctors give advice on to how to prepare kids for back to school

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(WKOW) -- With the school year right around the corner, doctors say there are steps parents can take right now to help their child successfully transition from summer time to school time.

Doctor Kim Giuliano of Cleveland Clinic Children's says weaning kids off of screens is a good place to start.

"Children who are exposed to electronics have a harder time paying attention and focusing and tend to be more anxious and irritable, so it is really important in order for your child to have a smart, high-functioning and less emotional brain at the beginning of the school year to think about starting to get back to some of those healthier electronic habits now," said Giuliano.

Dr. Giuliano suggests limiting screen time to twenty or thirty-minute increments throughout the day. She says adjusting their sleep schedules prior to the first day of school is important as well.

"If we've fallen into some summer sleeping habits that don't coincide with what we want our school schedule to be, it's good to start trying a few weeks in advance, by just putting the child to bed, just 10-15 minutes earlier," said Giulano. "Do that for a couple of nights, and then once that's a little bit easier than another 10-15 minutes earlier and so on, and so forth."

It's common for kids to be nervous about going back to school. Giuliano recommends talking to children about fears and reassuring them, she says a trip to the school may be helpful too.

"Some schools will let you come visit, so if that's an opportunity, wonderful," Giulano. "Other school buildings aren't necessarily open in the summertime but even just parking in the parking lot and walking up to the door, looking around the school premise, could help a child to feel more comfortable."

Giuliano says practicing a child's morning routine about a week before school starts can help ease jitters. but she warns that practicing too far in advance can lead to additional apprehension.

She also says that kids may be required to provide up to date vaccine records when enrolling in a new school. If your child has not had vaccines in a few years, you might want to check and make sure they're good to go.

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