Let’s Make It a Healthy School Year: Thoughts from a Pediatrician

TAWAS CITY, MI - It won't be long before our children head back to the classroom to kick off another school year. While parents need to make sure their child has all the school supplies they need to succeed, it is just as important to make sure they have a healthy start to the school year. Pediatrician, Jo S. May, MD, with Ascension St. Joseph Pediatrics in Tawas City recommends these tips to help your child stay healthy:

  • Wash away the germs. Encourage your child to wash their hands often. Whether it is soap and water or hand sanitizer, clean hands reduce the spread of germs and infectious diseases.
  • Don't skip the shots. Before your child walks into the classroom, make sure their immunizations are up to date. It is recommended that all school-age children get the flu vaccine, unless they have an allergy to the vaccine or a health problem that will cause complications from the vaccine. In addition, vaccines for the coronavirus are now available for all children six months and older.
  • Visit the doctor. A check-up is a great way to make sure your child’s school year starts off on the right foot. It is also an opportunity to get a physical for your child, which is often required for children who will be playing a sport.
  • Getting sleep schedules back on track. Before they head back to the classroom, get your children back on their school year sleep schedule. Start readjusting bedtimes several days out so children are hitting the pillow earlier.
  • Good food = good health. A healthy diet is the fuel children need to succeed in the classroom. Make sure kids are eating whole grains, fruits, vegetables, lean meats and foods that are low in fat and rich in protein, such as fish, eggs and beans.
  • Screen time. Ensure all forms of screen time are kept below a maximum of two hours each day. Encourage multiple forms of play – active, imaginative and creative, as well as reading and time for bonding with friends and family.

As a pediatrician, Dr. May provides primary care for infants, children and teens. This includes care for minor childhood illness and injuries, annual check-ups, well-baby visits, physicals for school and sports, and vaccinations. New patients are being accepted. Ascension St. Joseph Hospital Pediatrics is at 110 Beech Street, Suite A, in Tawas City. For more information or to schedule an appointment, call (989) 984-3770.