Dr. Natasha Withers: Buying new shoes, cloths and binders may top your bag to school to-do list, but here are some additional actions to take. Communicate with your child's school make sure your emergency phone numbers are accurate and current. Inform the school about all health conditions, allergies, physical restrictions and medications your child takes.
Create a healthy structure at home, make sure your child gets breakfast and well balanced meals for lunch and dinner. Make sure your child has enough time for physical activity, completing homework and getting enough sleep, 10-11 hours for most.
Limit screen time, such as TV, computers and video games to 10 hours a week. Take time to talk. Start a dialog about alcohol, drugs and smoking before they become issues. Keep an eye out for bullying, note any increase in depression, anxiety, headaches, absences and poor school adjustment.
With older children be alert for signs of withdrawal and eating disorders. Double check the route to school. As pedestrians, children are at even greater risk of injury or death from traffic crashes due to small size, in ability to judge distance and speeds and inexperience with traffic rules.
Teach kids to cross the street safely and to walk on sidewalks or paths. Children under the age of 10 should not cross streets alone. For older children and teens know where they're walking or who will be driving them. I am Dr. Natasha. Live well!