ASHWAUBENON – With summer winding down, a new school year is just on the horizon.
As parents gather back to school supplies and get their kids back into school mode, there could be some anxiety ahead for kids.
Dr. Scott Schinschke, a family medicine doctor at the Pulaski Prevea Health Center joined Good Day Wisconsin to talk anxiety, sleep and backpack safety for kids.
He provided the following tips for kids as they begin a new year.
It’s important to have a good fit to avoid injury. Students should wear both straps, and if possible, the front strap. Purchase a backpack with wide straps and a padded back. A backpack should be snug so the straps don’t hang too loose. The contents inside a backpack should be limited to 20% of a child’s bodyweight. The contents should be well organized.
Sleep is important because it can impact both performance and behavior. Parents should plan ahead the night before for a smooth transition in the morning, routine is important. Plan backwards based on the start of the school day, in terms on how long it takes to get ready, when should you leave the house, etc. Enforcing a curfew for technology is key. Parents can lead by example, by quieting down the house and being prepared for the morning.
Anxiety can creep up during transition periods, which can be kindergarten-1st grade, 6th-7th grade and the first year of high school. It can cause upset stomachs and other ailments in kids. Some children may ultimately need professional help. It’s important to have discussions on expectations, positives of school, and for parents to listen to their child’s concerns. Exercise, good diet and sleep can help ease anxiety. Having an emotional margin – not overloading a child can also help.