School Stress-Busters

As the lazy days of summer come to an end, parents brace for the jarring transition to “the hustle and bustle" of the school year. So, our team of experts is here with tips to help make the back-to-school transition as smooth and stress-free as possible.

Sleep soundly

A good night’s sleep will make your kids happier, healthier and better able to focus at school. Many of our experts are parents, too, and we know that bedtime can be a struggle. But getting your child into the routine of going to bed early before school starts is worthwhile. Kids need at least two weeks to become accustomed to waking up early for school again. The earlier you start, the easier your school year morning routine will be.

Make plans to reduce stress

It’s important to have an overall stress-reducing plan to keep your child’s stress under control throughout the school year.

Beat the back-to-school blues

For many kids going back to school can be a challenge. New classes, new schedules and new people can bring on stress symptoms. There are several steps you can take to help your child manage back-to-school tension.

Back-to-School Safety

Don’t forget to do a few safety checks when preparing your family to go back to school. These small steps can make a huge difference in keeping your child safe.

Backpack safety

Kids these days are often expected to carry more and more items around, which can lead to heavier backpacks. Backpacks, when worn safely can be a great tool to help kids manage the items they need for school, sports and activities. When worn incorrectly backpacks can cause pain and potential back problems down the road. Backpacks shouldn’t weigh more than 10 to 15% of your child’s body weight.

Car seats and booster seat safety

The statistics are startling—73% of car seats are installed incorrectly. There may be a lot of things you don’t know about your child’s car seat. The good news is that when used correctly, child safety seats can reduce the change of deadly injury from a car crash by up to 51% for kids up to age 4.

School bus safety

Roughly 23 million U.S. students take the school bus to and from school each day. While buses provide convenient, reliable transportation to and from school, the greatest safety risk isn’t riding the bus, but getting on and off it. Learn more about how to stay safe on and around school buses.

Smart Eats for School

Kids do better in school when they have the right fuel.

Bring on breakfast

Studies show that kids who start their day with a nutritionally balanced breakfast perform better in the classroom, miss fewer days of school and even experience happier moods after their morning meal. Whipping up a better breakfast doesn't have to slow you down. With simple shortcuts, you can skip the drive-thru, save time and feel great about starting the day right.

Choose school lunches

School lunches are more convenient for mom and dad (no shopping, preparing or packing required) and often cost less than lunches prepared at home. And now, thanks to the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act, they're more nutritious than ever.

Power up with snacks

When meals are more than four hours apart, smart snacking is a good idea. Power snacking is a great way to snack smarter. Combine at least two different food groups and always include a protein. Energy from carb-heavy snacks (granola bars, chips, pretzels) wears off in a flash, but adding protein will keep your child feeling full until the next meal.

Manage Asthma and Allergies

Food allergy reactions and asthma attacks continue to be a leading cause for concern in school aged-children. Children with food allergies are two to four times more likely to have asthma or other allergic conditions than those without food allergies.

Have a plan

Work with your healthcare provider to create an asthma action plan that outlines your child’s asthma triggers, medications, treatment and emergency contact information. Share it with your child’s school nurse, teachers, babysitters, coaches, grandparents and anyone else who cares for your child.

Get tested for allergies

About 20% of students with food allergies will have a reaction while at school. Contact the Food Allergy Program to have your child tested and learn how to prevent and treat allergic reactions—especially at school. If needed, request a prescription for a new epinephrine pen and discuss whether your child is ready to carry his quick-relief medicine on his own.

Do your homework

Many schools and school districts have different requirements for children who depend on as-needed medicine. Before the new school year starts, contact your child’s school and learn what steps you need to take to get permission for him to carry his as-needed medicines at school. You'll also want to make sure that your child knows how to properly carry and use his medicines.