How to prepare your kids to head back to school

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Thursday, August 9, 2018
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The back-to-school frenzy is in full swing, but it's not just about shopping.

NAPERVILLE, Ill. -- The back-to-school frenzy is in full swing, but it's not just about shopping.

There are physical and mental challenges students may face. Here's how you can make sure they're classroom-ready in time.

It's been a fun summer for the Thakkar brothers of Naperville, but it's time for these fraternal triplets to hit the fourth grade

"Axel, Brock, and Charlie and they are all 9 years old," their mom Christie Thakkar said.

While she's on top of school supplies, mom Christie says it's random other stuff that makes the first weeks of school so hectic.

"Brock got glasses at the end of the school year... He has not worn them all this summer," Thakkar said.

The Thakkar boys have eye doctor appointments in the next couple weeks before school.

But all parents should also think about prescriptions for EpiPens, inhalers, migraine medicines. You may need to refill them and get a note from your pediatrician so the school nurse can administer those meds.

"It's not just little kids who need vaccines, as teens are starting middle school, they need things like the meningitis vaccine," said Dr. Edith Bracho-Sanchez.

Another health issue parents and student tackle when heading back to school is sleep.

"Their regular bedtime is 8- 8:15 but in the summer they've been staying up kind of late 9 - 9:30," Thakkar said.

Start altering their routine now.

"Getting appropriate sleep absolutely matters for kids to be focused at school... It also matters for their metabolism," Dr. Bracho-Sanchez said.

Doctors advise elementary and middle schoolers get 9 to 11 hours and 8 to 10 hours for teens.

So here's the trick-- start moving the wake up time earlier.

You can't force them to fall asleep but when you move that alarm a little earlier each morning, the bedtimes start to fall in line.

Finally, there are school sports.

"They will be playing basketball in the fall and winter so they'll be getting new uniforms," Thakker said.

In a lot of cases, it's no longer the coach handing out new uniforms each year.

Lots of leagues are now asking parents to individually order their kids' jerseys online.