Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Ten Tips for Ensuring a Healthy, Safe and Successful School Year

Yep, it's that time!  School is right around the corner.  The stores have put school supplies on sale, school supply lists are at the front of said stores and, if your child needs booster shots, the school has already sent you a notice!  But, there is one thing that many parents don't think about until there's a note sent home from the teacher or school nurse...your child's eyes!  It is important to get your child's eyes checked every year, sometimes even twice a year.  Children do most of their learning for the first 12 years through their eyes, and if they can't see well, they aren't learning well. 

Now, because my son was a preemie, I know that he is susceptible to eye problems, and was on the lookout for Strabismus, or lazy eye when he was younger.  I noticed that he was having one eye turn in and IMMEDIATELY took him to the eye doctor, and yes, eye doctors can tell if your child needs glasses at such a young age.  We caught Monster's eye problem early enough, that with glasses it was corrected.  But can you imagine the frustration, and the learning delays if we hadn't caught it.  Here's a picture of little one shortly after he got his glasses:

You can see he was cross-eyed in this picture.  Since I caught it early enough, he no longer needs glasses! And I'm grateful. 

So, now that you know that children as young as six months can get glasses, what kind would you get?  Well, there's a type of lenses called Airware, and you can learn about them here.  And, luckily enough, they are having an essay contest right now!  You can write an essay on how you are going to provide a healthy, safe, and successful school year.  But, here's my tips:

  1. Of course, get your child's eyes examined. 
  2. Start each day with a good breakfast, a child won't pay attention to the teacher if they're hungry.
  3. Make sure you know your child's friends and parents.
  4. If you live close enough, walk your little one to school, or watch them walk to school, or to the bus stop.  What some people have even done is start a "walk to school" coop where one parent does it for one day a week.
  5. If your child rides a bike to school, please make sure they wear safety equipment!
  6. Make sure your little one gets plenty of sleep.
  7. Have a routine, it avoids being late and it's less stressful for you and your child/ren.
  8. Make sure homework is done, sit down with your child, or spend time with them while they're doing homework.
  9. Give your children some "ALONE" time, most often you're worrying about your child so much that you don't realize, they need time to themselves just like you do.
  10. Always encourage your child.  If they want to be a soldier one week and a doctor the next, there's NOTHING wrong with that.  It's the process of learning that they're exploring. 
These are just a few of the many, many tips that are out there.  Please, connect with other parents.  And, always pay attention to your child. 

I wrote this blog post while participating in the TwitterMoms and Airwear blogging program, making me eligible to get a $25 gift card. For more information on how you can participate, visit