Learn how to help your kids have a safe, happy school year.

It’s hard to believe that we’re already approaching back to school time. As you shop for school supplies and school clothes, keep safety in mind. Try these simple back to school health tips to give your child a healthy advantage this school year.

Keep up to date with vaccinations
Consult with the National Network for Immunization Information to find out which immunizations your child needs before the school year starts. When flu shots are ready later in the year, make sure your child gets his or her flu shot.

Prepare healthier school lunches
Avoid foods that are loaded with sugar and preservatives when you pack your child’s school lunches. Stick to whole foods as often as possible, and switch things up to keep your child engaged. Get older kids involved with shopping for lunches and preparing them.

Teach your child about bike safety
Kids grow quickly. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recommends making sure helmets fit properly and bikes are fitted properly to the rider. Check your child’s size before school and take time to review basic safety rules.

Talk to your child about peers
Don’t ignore the social aspects of school. While it’s important to focus on education and study skills, you also need to talk to your kids about their social encounters. Have age-appropriate conversations about difficult topics such as cheating, bullying, drug and alcohol abuse, and peer pressure.

Discuss healthy habits
Remind your child to wash their hands thoroughly after using the restroom and before meals. Make a habit out of encouraging everyone in the family to wash their hands as soon as they return home from school and work.

Learn more about kids' health at North Hills Hospital. To find a doctor to speak with, please call 1-855-5NHILLS for a physician referral.

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