Texas Children’s Hospital Provides Tips to Ensure a Safe And Healthy Back-to-School

August 9, 2010

HOUSTON, Aug. 9 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — It’s August and for many families that means it’s time to head back to school. From sleep schedules, nutrition, immunizations, heart health, heat illnesses and more, Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston provides parents with tips to ensure their children have a safe, healthy and successful school year. For more information please visit http://bit.ly/texaschildrensbacktoschool.

(Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20100809/DC48125)

(Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20100809/DC48125)

Please click the links below for tips and more in depth expert information on each of the subjects.

  • Handling sleep-change blues: Time changes and schedule changes can make it harder for children to sleep well and can affect their performance at school. Because it is difficult for children to quickly switch from the later sleep schedule of summer to an earlier wake up time for school, sleep specialists at Texas Children’s are recommending parents start early and take the next few weeks before school starts to begin transitioning their child to an earlier sleep schedule.
  • Help improve your child’s nutrition: With the ever increasing obesity epidemic – especially among children – it’s important for families to have a plan. As your kids head back to school, and life becomes more hectic, it may be difficult to ensure your family’s eating nutritious, balanced meals. Texas children’s offers parents 10 meal and snack ideas, as well as tips to help your family have a successful start back.
  • Vaccines should be a top priority: Texas Children’s experts emphasize the importance of adhering to the vaccine schedule as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as well as the local school district. It is essential to keeping children healthy, in school and protected from illnesses that are prevalent, yet vaccine-preventable.
  • Young athletes encouraged to get “back-to-school” heart checkups: Back-to-school means a return to academics and to athletics and sporting activities. Texas Children’s recommends that young children and teens whose families have a history of heart disease receive more than a routine “back-to-school” exam before playing sports. And, although sudden cardiac death is rare – affecting about 15 to 25 young athletes per year – it’s good for families to know the facts.
  • Anxiety, not just a problem for adults: Children of all ages can experience excessive anxiety about a new school year which could make the first day, or even weeks, of school difficult for families. Psychologists at Texas Children’s want to help parents understand their child’s anxiety and share tips on how to help them deal with it.
  • Burden of proof could be in the backpack: Many children are carrying backpacks that are far too heavy for them and are thus more vulnerable to injuries. Read more from experts at Texas Children’s to learn how heavy your child’s backpack can be and the dangers this poses.
  • The importance of yearly physical exams: Children’s bodies can change drastically within a year and school hearing and vision tests may not be catching all problems. Physicians from Texas Children’s emphasize the importance of a back-to-school yearly physical to ensure children will perform their best over the next year.
  • Heat and high humidity require extra caution for athletes of all ages: Sports practices, workouts and even recess time can be tough on students during the brutal heat of August and September. Being outside in hot temperatures can endanger a child’s health as heat-related illnesses can be dangerous or even deadly. Experts from Texas Children’s provide tips for parents to help them understand and prevent heat-related illnesses in their children.
  • Communication helps manage asthma and allergies at school: As back-to-school approaches parents may worry about the best way for their kids to manage asthma or allergies at school. An asthma specialist at Texas Children’s believes the best defense against asthma and allergies is communication with teachers at the beginning of the school year and gives tips on how to do this effectively.
  • What else behavioral problems in school may indicate: Children who suffer from poor school performance, memory lapses and behavioral problems may have a relatively common and treatable sleep disorder. Most sleep problems in children are often unrecognized by pediatricians and parents and can attribute to behavioral problems and poor school performance. Doctors from the Texas Children’s Sleep Center discuss the signs and symptoms of sleep problems.

Texas Children’s Hospital is committed to a community of healthy children and believes educating parents and students about the importance of health and safety at school will ensure that every child has a great start to the new school year.

About Texas Children’s Hospital

Texas Children’s Hospital is committed to a community of healthy children by providing the finest pediatric patient care, education and research. Renowned worldwide for its expertise and breakthrough developments in clinical care and research, Texas Children’s is nationally ranked in all ten subspecialties in U.S.News & World Report‘s list of America’s Best Children’s Hospitals. Texas Children’s also operates the nation’s largest primary pediatric care network, with more than 40 offices throughout the greater Houston community. Texas Children’s has embarked on a $1.5 billion expansion, Vision 2010, which includes the Jan and Dan Duncan Neurological Research Institute, a comprehensive obstetrics facility focusing on high-risk births and a community hospital in suburban West Houston. For more information on Texas Children’s Hospital, go to www.texaschildrens.org. Get the latest news from Texas Children’s Hospital by visiting the online newsroom and on Twitter at twitter.com/texaschildrens.

Contact: Jenn Blackmer, (832) 824-2679, jmblackm@texaschildrens.org

SOURCE Texas Children’s Hospital

Source: newswire

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