Back to school health checklist starts with kids’ hands

Ready 4 School

This time of year, school districts hand out checklists for back to school supplies. Dr. Joseph Chow, president of WNY Immediate Care, has a back to school health checklist, too.

“Number one is washing your hands and sanitizing your hands,” Dr. Chow told News 4. “Once kids get together in school they start sharing, and they especially start sharing all their germs.”

So, as kids head back to class, Dr. Chow says parents should encourage frequent hand washing throughout the day, with an extra reminder to wash up right after school. That should help prevent kids from bringing some of the germs back into your home and to your other family members.

“Certainly when you get back home from school, before you grab your first snack, absolutely, wash your hands,” he advised.

Back to school time means kids often share more than just germs; they tend to share their lunches and snacks with each other as well.

That can be problematic for kids with food allergies.

“If your kids do have allergies,  make sure that the school is aware of that,” Dr. Chow said. “Make sure your child is well aware of that, too.”

Families with kids who need to take any medications at school need to get their paperwork in order before their kids head back to class.

If you need to visit a doctor to get a prescription or a medication refill, Dr. Chow suggest you make your appointment as soon as possible.

Many primary care providers and pediatricians have their hands full this time of year because of all the sports physicals for student athletes.

“There are many sports out there that have already had practices, waiting for their games to start in the next few weeks, so it is very important, especially if you play sports, to call your doctor early,” Dr. Chow said.

Much of the back to school process takes a little planning ahead, and getting your kids on the right sleep schedule is no exception. Depending on their ages, they need between eight and 12 hours of sleep each night.

“It’s a good idea to get start getting them into this routine, having them sleep a little bit earlier. It’s also a good idea to have them have a media curfew so they’re not on their electronics too late, they’re not on the screen too late,” Dr. Chow said. “So start these processes now before school starts.”

Dr. Chow joined our News 4 Weekend Wake Up crew Sunday morning to share more of his back to school health advice. Watch the video below to see the full segment.

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