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Healthy Balance

Back to School Guide

two kids wearing masks and backpacks, standing outside a school, getting hand sanitizer from adultIt’s the start of a new school year. You can practically see the trees start to shake off summer’s humidity. You can feel the money for new clothes and supplies leaking from your wallet. And yes, you can hear summer’s endless run of cartoons start to fade. Back to school, indeed!

Prep for 2022

Not so fast, parents. This year has its own challenges. COVID isn’t over. You’re still going to want to guide your children to make good choices about hygiene. Will they wear a mask? Keep sanitizer handy? You’ll want to come up with a strategy.

Your kids also might have, on top of regular school jitters, some fears about school shootings. We ended last year in the shadow of Uvelde, Texas. Take time with your child or teen to discuss all the worries they may feel. You may not have all the answers. But giving your attention to them this way will help make sure they can come to you when they need to.

Before the Season Starts: See a Pediatrician

Plan to visit the pediatrician as part of your back-to-school routine.

Susan Gray, MD, a UVA Health Children’s pediatrician, says that you can easily have your child vaccinated at the same appointment as a sports physical, if your child plays sports.

Pediatricians can also talk with your kids about any emotional worries or stress they might feel as school begins.

Yes, you have a list of supplies and gear to refresh before school starts. But don’t forget to protect and prepare your kid to have a healthy year, too.

The following resources can help you get started.

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