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Hear those bells? It means back-to-school time for Portland students

Keep your children, families and teachers healthy when Portland area schools open for the year

It’s time! Portland students are enjoying the last few weeks of summer freedom, while parents and teachers are preparing for their annual pilgrimage to collect school supplies and new clothes, while reinforcing school-night bedtimes.

Doctors and nurses at The Portland Clinic are also preparing for the new school year, working tirelessly to help parents and children develop healthy habits leading up to the first day of classes. There are plenty of opportunities to ensure a healthy, safe and educational school year:

Focus on nutrition

Start the day off with a nutritious meal to help your school-bound children concentrate in class and keep their metabolism in line throughout the day. Packing a lunch or educating your kids on proper nutrition in the cafeteria will help ensure healthy food choices. Poor nutrition may impact a child’s concentration in school and could leave them vulnerable to infections with a weakened immune system.

Stay hydrated

Summer is nearly over, but it’s still warm outside. It’s important to consume plenty of water, especially if your child participates in any after-school sports. Carrying a water bottle or making regular stops at the drinking fountain will help fight dehydration in the classroom.

Vaccines

Speak with your physician about the vaccination protocol prescribed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Get the basic facts about vaccines and understand why they are so important; also check what your school’s policies are regarding vaccines and make sure your child is up-to-date.

Emergency contact

Check your child’s emergency contact information on file with the school to make sure it is accurate. Whether you’ve started a new job, changed addresses or discovered a new allergy, the school should know in case of emergency. Medication records should also be updated with the school nurse.

Vision check

Schedule an eye exam to track the health of your student’s eyes and keep their prescription current. Blurry vision, or even more serious eye problems, can delay learning. Remember, some children may be embarrassed to tell you they are having a difficult time reading books or seeing the classroom board. It is important to be proactive.

Dress for success

Check your child’s footwear for fit and to look for signs of wear that could affect their movement. Clothing should not be too tight or uncomfortable. A comfortable student is a less distracted student.

Back-to-school season is an exciting, yet sometimes stressful, time. If you have questions about nutrition, vaccinations or any other back-to-school health issues, please don’t hesitate to contact your physician at The Portland Clinic.