With classes right around the corner, it’s time to get kids ready for a return to school.
And after a year that has been anything but normal because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Mayo Clinic experts say it’s important to prepare children for that first day of school by getting back into a routine.
“I’m a mom of three. Two of my children are getting ready to go back to school. And it’s a crazy time of year. You feel like there’s not enough time to be prepared. But we’ve already started having those conversations about what to expect in terms of getting back into a routine,” says Dr. Tina Ardon, a Mayo Clinic family physician.
She says an important part of that routine is sleep.
“If your child’s maybe been sleeping on a different schedule because they’ve been enjoying summertime, this is the time now to start adjusting that bedtime so that they’re ready to wake up refreshed for school,” says Dr. Ardon.
She says it’s important that kids continue other healthy activities at home, like brushing their teeth and eating well-balanced meals.
“We like to prepare for the next day. That’s one way for us to try to mitigate the chaos of the morning, laying the clothes out before the next day. Our new routine with COVID will be having our masks and hand sanitizer ready,” says Dr. Ardon.
And transitioning back to school during a pandemic may cause extra stress, so it’s important to have open and honest conversations with your kids.
“Clues to look out for would be maybe feeling a little more anxious or withdrawn. As your family physicians and pediatricians, we’re happy to be part of that support network to talk to your kids and make sure that they’re doing OK,” says Dr. Ardon.