Tips before sending your child back to school

Altoona (WQOW) – School officially starts on Tuesday September 4 in Altoona, which is four weeks away, but time can sneak up fast.

News 18 spoke with Interim Altoona School Superintendent, Ron Walsh, about some of the challenges faculty face when the school year begins. One challenge is encouraging kids to read during the summer, which they believe helps exercise the mind. 

The next challenge is school supplies. Walsh recommends parents start thinking in terms of what their child will need for school.  Walsh assures it’s important for parents not to panic, to not assume they need to have everything in regards to school supplies, and to bargain shop.

"I’m always excited for school, I am. It’s what we’re all about, it’s why we’re here, and I know its difficult for kids and for staff," Walsh said. "They’ve had a long summer doing other things, a lot of relaxing, it’s hard to get in the routine. So, it’s not just the kids that need to get into the routine."

For the younger kids, Walsh said he and the faculty recommend parents do a tour of the school with their child. They believe it would help their young learner feel more comfortable about school overall.

From a health standpoint, experts at Mayo Clinic Health System said well-rounded nutrition and a good night sleep will set a child up for success. The clinic recommends if you are making your child’s lunch, add fruits and vegetables in the brown paper bag. The clinic also reminds parents to stay up on their child’s annual immunization check up, vision screenings and diet.

"I think its important for kids to have fun. They need to enjoy going back to school. Making it a positive experience for them is the biggest thing and if kids are going to enjoy it they are going to have to most success they can," said Dr. Anthony Furlano, a family medicine physician at Mayo Health Clinic System.

Furlano also reminds parents to check and make sure their child does not have an overloaded back pack. He said a heavy backpack can lead to back pain.  Furlano said you child’s backpack should not exceed 15 percent of their body weight, and to be sure to use both backpack straps properly.

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