Savannah pediatrician offers healthy back to school tips - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Savannah pediatrician offers healthy back to school tips

(Source: WTOC) (Source: WTOC)

You may spend this weekend enjoying the last few days of your child's summer vacation, but experts say there's really a lot that parents need to do to get their child prepared for the new school year. 

We're about a week away from the start of school for Savannah-Chatham County Public Schools, and less than a week from Bulloch County Schools. We spoke with local pediatrician Dr. Ben Spitalnick to learn more about what you can do to prepare. 

As you begin to prepare for the first day back in class, Dr. Spitalnick says there are plenty of steps you as a parent can take to make the transition go more smoothly for your entire family. The first and arguably most important thing Dr. Spitalnick says you can do is get your children on a regular school sleep cycle sooner rather than later. 

"The first week can be very difficult if they're not used to waking up on time. At least three to four days a week would be optimal. Have them go to a regular school time sleep bedtime and have them start waking up when they would be waking up for school," said Dr. Spitalnick, Pediatric Associates of Savannah. 

Also, Dr. Spitalnick says start phasing out screen time now. This includes TVs, iPads, and phones. Start setting up a dedicated study area, whether it be in the bedroom, kitchen, or wherever. Give your child a dedicated desk/chair area with very little distractions. 

The American Academy of Pediatrics stresses how crucial healthy eating is for children. Studies show that kids who eat breakfast in the morning are more alert during the school day and perform better in the classroom. 

"Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Start getting them on a healthy balanced breakfast now and when school begins," said Dr. Spitalnick. 

Dr. Spitalnick also says lunch menus are already available for most schools, so now would be a good time to look them over and start making plans for any days your child will need to bring their own. 

Click here for all the information you need for starting back to school. 

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