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Just like you, it’s that time of year again at the Aronson house – getting everyone ready to go back to school. Of course there are the matters of getting school supplies and school bags ready, but there are a lot of other things we need to think about to get our kids prepped for the new school year.

Even before the first day of school there are measures that you can take to ease your child’s transition to the new school year.  Many children are uneasy about going off to a new school or working with new classmates and teachers. Making the teacher aware of a child’s anxieties encourages them to make effort to make everyone feel comfortable. Reminding your child that other children are also uneasy can provide some comfort, as can arranging play dates with new classmates prior to the start of school.

For children traveling to and from school on a school bus, parents should review basic safety rules. Make sure your child understands the importance of waiting for the bus to stop before approaching – and to remain seated throughout the trip. When getting off the bus he/she should cross only if the red lights are flashing and remain at least 10 feet in front of the bus.

For older children riding bikes to school, make sure your child wears a helmet at all times, knows appropriate hand signals and respects traffic lights and stop signs.

For teens driving themselves by car – the risk of accident and injury can be reduced greatly by limiting the number of teen passengers and making sure there is no use of cell phones either for calls or texting.

Most illnesses and injuries that arise during school are minor and can be cared for by the school nurse. Some schools have a full-time certified school nurse who can handle acute health problems and administer medications. In some districts the school nurse may not work full time or student health may be staffed by medical assistants rather than certified nurses. Most issues are minor (headaches, scrapes or bumps) which can be managed by the school nurse and the child often returns to class. Other problems can be more serious and the child may need to have a parent or family member come and pick them up – so it is critical for the school to have up-to-date contact info for multiple family members or close friends.

As parents we devote so much time and effort to keeping our kids safe. So much of their childhood and adolescence is spent at school – and so it is important for parents to think about how to make sure their school years are productive and full of wonderful memories. Wishing everyone a great school year!