From anxiety to meal planning, here are tips from the children’s health experts.
- Try to get into the regular school meal and bedtime routine in the week before school starts.
- Visit the school playground to get familiar with it again.
- Try practicing the skills your child will need to be independent, such as opening lunch containers, tying shoes and zipping coats.
- Throughout the school year, encourage your child to share his or her fears by setting up a regular time to talk.
- Help your child develop healthy coping and problem-solving skills.
- Be mindful of your own behaviour. Model confidence and comfort when your child is anxious.
- Focus on the positive and celebrate small accomplishments.
Get a good sleep:
- Keep a routine. Wake up and put kids to sleep at the same time each day.
- Avoid allowing caffeine in the afternoon and evenings.
- Encourage kids to be active during the day for a more restful sleep.
- Avoid the TV, phone and computer before bed.
Current Health Canada guidelines recommend:
- 9–11 hours of sleep a night for children ages 5–13 years old
- 8–10 hours of sleep a night for children 14–17 years old
Teachable tips to avoid bullying:
- Respond assertively by saying "stop," ask a question or change the subject.
- Avoid kids who bully or move away with your head up and shoulders back.
- Find friends and allies to keep from becoming a target.
- Report bullying behaviours to adults and authorities.
- Be a caring bystander and refuse to be an audience for bullying.
- Provide plenty of vegetables and fruits, whole grain foods and protein foods.
- Choose protein foods that come from plants more often.
- Limit the amount of processed food and drinks you pack in lunches.
- Avoid foods with added sugar, saturated fats or added sodium.
- Send a water bottle to school.
- Pack a hand wipe for hand cleaning before snack time.
- Bike helmets can prevent serious injury, but concussion can still occur during a bad fall.
- Whether kids are biking, scootering, playing sports or climbing on a playground, be aware that the signs and symptoms of concussion are: confusion, headache, dizziness, seeing stars, hearing ringing, vision changes, nausea, slurred speech or loss of consciousness.
- When to call 911: neck pain, repeated vomiting, growing confusion, seizures, headache increasing in severity, or weakness or tingling in arms or legs.
- If a concussion is suspected, remove the child from the activity and do not let them return to play. Teach children to know when to raise the red flag too.
- Be aware concussion symptoms can be delayed for up to 48 hours.
- If you think your child does have a concussion, take them to a doctor and follow a proper step-by-step strategy for recovery that has a gradual return to the activity or school.
The BC government has approved the Vaccination Status Reporting Regulation requiring parents or guardians to report the vaccination status of their school-age children.
- Check out the vaccine schedules for children, see HealthLinkBC: https://www.healthlinkbc.ca/tools-videos/bc-immunization-schedules#child
- Find a vaccination clinic map on the Immunize BC website: https://immunizebc.ca/finder
- Keep an eye out for measles symptoms which include: fever, cough, runny nose, red eyes, small red spots in the mouth (spots have white or bluish-white centers), and a red blotchy rash that starts on the face and spreads to the arms and legs.
- Report an illness – if you think you or someone in your family has contracted measles, stay home and contact the Public Health Team. If you live in the Vancouver Coastal Health area, call 604-675-3900. If you live outside of this area, call HealthLink at 8-1-1.
- Watch the BC Children's Hospital video on why immunization is important for yourself, your family and your community: