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Q: What are some health tips for going back to school?

Posted September 11, 2013 in Advice Column, Norwalk

A: “To succeed in school, children need to be healthy, alert and able to see properly, “ says Robert Adler MD, vice chair of the Department of Pediatrics and director of Medical Education at Childrens Hospital Los Angeles. Here are some back-to-school tips.

• Getting shots. Check with your doctor to make sure your child(ren) have received the recommended vaccines for their age.

• Eye exams. Have your child(ren) get a complete eye exam before starting school.

• Helmets. Be sure your child(ren) wear a properly fitted bicycle helmet when riding their bikes to school or just riding them for fun and fitness.

• Snacks. By shopping carefully, you can get your child(ren) started in healthy eating habits. Snacking itself is not necessarily bad. Actually, younger children need snacks. Provide milk, juice and servings of fruit or vegetables.

• Bedtimes. Get started early with a school bedtime schedule.  By setting a bedtime schedule, you are building consistency in your child(ren)s daily routine.

• Backpacks. Watch out for back pain caused by backpacks. Look for backpacks with individual compartments and put heaviest items closest to the body. Sharp objects like pencils should be in smaller pockets on the outside. Backpacks used for school should have two shoulder straps and your child(ren) should use both.

Information submitted by Ronda Montgomery, Norwalk Family Physicians 801 Colonial Circle, 285-3200.

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