web analytics

Archive | Back 2 School

This school year, prioritize your child’s whole health – physical and mental


As back-to-school season gets underway, it’s important to ensure that your child is ready for the school year, both physically and emotionally, by scheduling a well-child visit.

Annual well-child visits are doctor appointments for preventive health services which are essential for ensuring a child’s growth and tracking developmental milestones. The well-child visit is also the time for routine immunizations to prevent diseases like measles, polio, hepatitis B, chickenpox, whooping cough and other serious diseases.

“Like vaccines, which prevent physical health conditions, speaking with your child’s primary care physician regularly about mental health concerns is also an essential part of overall preventive care,” said Rhonda L. Randall, D.O. and chief medical officer at UnitedHealthcare. “Your annual well-child visit is also an opportunity to have a conversation with your child’s physician. It’s best to have these conversations when problems or warning signs first appear, so your physician can take the appropriate steps to best treat them.”

If you’re not sure what questions to ask your child’s primary care physician during an annual well-child visit, consider the following:

Ask what vaccines are appropriate for your child’s age – and how to make up any that have been missed. You can refer to the list of child and adolescent vaccines recommended by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) at CDC.gov/vaccines. In addition to other childhood vaccines, both flu and COVID-19 vaccines are recommended by the CDC for everyone 6 months of age and older. If you are concerned about childhood vaccines, ask the pediatrician about common side effects, which are typically very mild, such as pain or swelling at the injection site, and can include low-grade fever or rash.

Discuss changes in your child’s behavior. Some common warning signs that your child’s mental well-being isn’t where it needs to be include persistent sadness, withdrawing from or avoiding social interactions, displaying outbursts of extreme irritability, drastic changes in mood, behavior or personality, changes in eating habits, difficulty sleeping, frequent headaches or stomachaches, difficulty concentrating, changes in academic performance or avoiding or missing school.

Ask for guidance on how best to support your child. Whether you have concerns about your child’s nutrition, exercise, sleeping patterns or behavioral changes, your child’s primary care physician is a great place to start. With so many young children experiencing mental and emotional health challenges, it’s important to create opportunities for them to share how they are really doing. Remember that these can be sensitive topics for your child to discuss. Empathy and patience go a long way to help children and adolescents feel listened to and comfortable.

Don’t forget to bring your sports physical forms. It’s great if your child participates in school sports. The wellness visit is an opportune time to make sure your physician is aware that your child is a student-athlete and address any concerns like nutrition, prior injuries and family history.

Ask for recommendations for other health care professionals, if needed. For example, if your child hasn’t seen the dentist in a while, if their vision screening indicated that they need to see an eye doctor, or their mental health screening has raised concerns, ask which health care professionals in your plan’s network they would recommend.

“If you haven’t already, now is the time to schedule an appointment with their pediatrician, to give your child a healthy start to the school year,” added Randall. “Regular well-child visits are essential in making sure your child is up to date on immunizations and that their developmental milestones are on track – including their mental well-being.”

To learn more about recommended preventive care for your child, visit UHC.com.

Posted in Back 2 SchoolComments Off on This school year, prioritize your child’s whole health – physical and mental

5 Ways to Support Teachers this Year

(Family Features) 

Throughout the pandemic, teachers have gone above and beyond for their students, becoming not just educators, but also counselors, role models and friends to their students by supporting their overall well-being.

Even so, only 52% of teachers feel valued by their communities, according to PDK International, a professional association for educators. What’s more, teachers are more burnt out than ever, with 81% reporting their workloads have increased and 55% sharing they have less time for planning than before, according to a State of Teaching survey conducted by Adopt a Classroom.

A successful school year means ensuring your student has the appropriate supplies, wardrobe and routines. This year, make an effort to also support your children’s teachers with ideas like these: 

Volunteer in the Classroom

With the extra roles and responsibilities many teachers have taken on in recent years, there aren’t enough hours in the day to complete special projects or keep up with certain tasks. Ask teachers how you can lend a hand. That might mean spending some time physically in the classroom, or there may be ways you can support your children’s classes from home, such as assembling instructional packets or researching field trip ideas.

Donate School Supplies

Often, teachers dip into their own income to create fun, engaging learning experiences and supplement student supplies when they run low. In fact, the average teacher spends $745 on supplies for their classrooms that are not covered by school budgets. According to Adopt a Classroom’s State of Teaching survey, 71% of teachers spent more of their own money on classroom materials in 2022 than during the previous year. 

You can ask teachers what supplies they need, or you can give back to teachers through Staples’ Classroom Rewards program. Join for free and earn at least 5% back on every qualifying purchase for both you and to donate to local teachers. The program helps reduce teachers’ out of pocket costs for their classrooms by allowing them to earn up to $2,000 a year.

Recognize Teachers Who Go Above and Beyond

Chances are good you know at least a few educators who have gone beyond the call of duty and made an exceptional impact on their students. Honoring their contributions shows appreciation for all they do. To demonstrate your gratitude, consider sending an email to your child’s teacher – and copy the principal – expressing your appreciation for his or her efforts, coordinating a fundraiser to raise money for classroom necessities, sending in a gift card for coffee or a favorite restaurant or working with other families to create a poster or book highlighting students’ favorite things about the teacher or classroom. 

Be a Partner in Your Child’s Learning at Home

Supporting teachers isn’t just about the classroom and supplies; you can also provide a helping hand by creating good habits and modeling the importance of education at home. Actions like creating routines that keep students on a comfortable, familiar schedule help teachers manage classrooms more effectively. You can also make communication with your children’s teachers a priority so you’re aware of concerns and can help address them early.

Attend School Board Meetings and Voice Support

Keeping tabs on the issues affecting your school district and teachers is an important part of monitoring and advocating for your children’s education, but it’s also a way for you to lend your support on topics affecting teachers. Stay informed about issues that matter to your children’s teachers and support school board policies and actions that serve teachers’ best interests.

Find more ways to give back to educators at staplesconnect.com/classroomrewards.

Posted in Back 2 SchoolComments Off on 5 Ways to Support Teachers this Year

Beware of deals that seem too good to be true 

From the Better Business Bureau

August 3, 2022 — School will soon be in session, and the rush to buy supplies has already begun. According to the National Retail Federation, higher prices and an increase in product shortages will have consumers looking at more cost-effective, unfamiliar brands to fill their back to school lists. The Better Business Bureau Serving Western Michigan (BBB®), warns shoppers to be careful of online deals that may be too good to be true.

According to the 2021 BBB Scam Tracker Risk Report, Online Purchase Scams were the riskiest for consumers, and continue to cost shoppers in 2022s

“Scammers are finding opportunities by enticing shoppers with discounted products,” said Lisa Frohnapfel, President and CEO of the Better Business Bureau Serving Western Michigan. “Each year scammers take advantage of shoppers who don’t do their research, and instead look only for the lowest price.”

BBB Tips for back to school shopping: 

Beware of too good to be true deals. Scammers may offer free or very low prices on hard to find items. With many products being hard to find this back to school season, scammers will be looking to take advantage of consumers desperate for certain supplies. 

Do your homework. Learn more about the seller by looking them up on bbb.org. Do not rely on reviews from the company’s website. 

Think before you click. Be especially cautious about email solicitations and online ads on social media sites. Many sketchy retailers advertise great deals or trendy clothing that don’t measure up to the promotional hype.

Finish your shopping early. With supply shortages and high prices, there will be a large number of shoppers all looking for the same products. Start early and finish early so you are not in a hurry, allowing you to avoid higher prices or being enticed by a bad deal.

Research big ticket items. Before purchasing any major item, research the brand and check the product’s warranties. Only shop with businesses you know and trust to ensure you’re getting a quality product and good customer service. 

Check the site’s security. If the site is secure, its URL should start with “https://” and include a lock icon on the purchase page. Only enter payment information on secure sites.

Pay with a credit card. Credit card companies give you an extra layer of protection, offering you the opportunity to dispute any charges if the transaction goes bad. 

Read the fine print. Look for the return policy; although many online orders can be returned for a full refund, others have restocking fees. Some items cannot be returned; know before you buy.

Report scams. Report any suspicious websites or advertisements to bbb.org/ScamTracker.

For more information visit https://www.bbb.org/all/back-to-school.

Posted in Back 2 SchoolComments Off on Beware of deals that seem too good to be true 

3 tips to make back-to-school easy for kids and parents

(BPT) – The back-to-school season can be overwhelming for the whole family. While there’s excitement about reuniting with friends and starting a new school year, it can be challenging for parents and kids to get back into a solid routine.

To help busy parents prepare their children mentally and physically to return to the classroom, Registered Dietitian and Nutritionist Dalina Soto has provided the following three simple tips that you can easily incorporate into your fall routine.

1. Reestablish a sleep routine

Summers often consist of late nights and mornings, so it can be tough for parents and children to adjust to weekday school hours. Before school begins, establish firm sleep and wake times for yourself and the kids.

You don’t have to do it all at once. Ease into it by adjusting bedtime and the morning alarm to a half-hour earlier than your current routine. Once a week or every few days, keep moving it earlier until you have reestablished the school year sleep routine. Your family will still get to enjoy the summer and not be completely shocked by the switch come September.

2. Double down on hydration

During the hot summer months at home, you can keep a close eye on your kids and ensure they drink plenty of water as they play outside. However, during the school year, you aren’t able to remind them in between classes to grab a drink. Staying hydrated has its benefits. In addition to helping your child stay healthy, regular hydration can boost your child’s mood, memory and attention, according to HealthyChildren.org.

To encourage your kids to hydrate during the school week, add a reusable water bottle to your back-to-school shopping list. As you shop, help your child pick out a fun water bottle they can fill up at home and at school.

3. Start the day with a nutritious meal

One way to make your life easier and alleviate stress as you head into the busyness of the fall season is to have some simple, nutritious meals and snacks you can make in a pinch. Eggs are an easy, delicious and nourishing ingredient you can incorporate into any meal at any time of the day.

To start your child’s school day off right, cook up a meal with Eggland’s Best eggs. Compared to ordinary eggs, they contain more than double the Vitamin B12, which naturally boosts energy to keep your child physically active. Eggland’s Best eggs also have 25% less saturated fat, six times more Vitamin D and more than double the Omega-3s, to help improve your child’s concentration and brain function in the classroom.

Make breakfast fun with these delicious Robot Egg and Cheese Roll Ups inspired by Disney and Pixar’s Lightyear. They’re packed with superior nutrition and are easy for parents to make, fun for kids to enjoy and provide lasting benefits for their school day!

Robot Egg and Cheese Roll Ups

Prep Time: 10 minutes; Cook Time: 5 minutes; Serves: 2


4 large Eggland’s Best eggs (2 whole eggs, 2 egg whites)

1/4 cup diced onion

1/4 cup diced red bell pepper

1 tablespoon chopped chives

2 6-inch whole wheat tortillas

1/8 cup low-fat shredded mozzarella cheese

2 black olives


1. Spray large pan with nonstick cooking spray and heat to medium-low.

2. In a small bowl, whisk Eggland’s Best eggs and egg whites with onion, peppers and chives. Season with salt and pepper.

3. Pour egg mixture into pan and cook on medium-low heat, stirring frequently until cooked through about 4 minutes. Add cheese and allow to melt slightly.

4. Immediately transfer eggs to tortillas and roll up tightly. Garnish with olives for the eyes, chives and bell pepper to create robot antennas.

To find this and more easy and quick recipes that you can make this school year, visit egglandsbest.com.

Eggland’s Best has teamed up once again with Disney and Pixar’s Lightyear to give families the chance to win Lightyear DVDs and more, Eggland’s Best swag, and the Grand Prize of $5,000 to plus up their at-home movie watching experience. Enter daily now through September 24 for a chance to win. For recipes and more information, visit www.EBFamilySweeps.com. Add Lightyear to your Pixar collection. Now on Digital and own it on Blu-rayTM‚ September 13th.

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN IN THE EGGLAND’S BEST “SUPERIOR HERO” SWEEPSTAKES. Open to legal residents of the 50 US & DC, 18 or older. Void where prohibited. Sweepstakes starts 8/3/22 at 9:00 AM ET and ends 9/24/22 at 4:59 PM ET. For Official Rules, which govern, click here. Sponsor: Eggland’s Best, LLC.

Posted in Back 2 SchoolComments Off on 3 tips to make back-to-school easy for kids and parents

Three ways families can better prepare for the school year

Identify the right resources 

One thing in high demand for teachers this year is support from communities. It’s important to ensure teachers have the resources they need to lead student learning for both online and in-person settings. Everything from basic supplies to materials that promote learning and overall well-being can help kids manage stress, but teachers often need help acquiring those supplies. That’s why Kleenex® brand is donating up to $1.2 million in 2020 to fund requests from teachers on the education nonprofit crowdfunding site DonorsChoose.

“When students have the resources they need to learn and stay well, achievement can thrive,” said Charles Best, founder of DonorsChoose. “This upcoming school year holds many unknowns for educators, and we’re grateful for this support from Kleenex® brand, which has helped equip over 2,500 teachers and 176,500 students with materials they need to continue learning.”

Prepare for a new routine 

A big part of going back to school is getting into a new routine as a family and being flexible knowing things will continue to change. Gilboa recommends introducing a similar school schedule weeks before school starts, so parents are able to help children adjust and make changes as needed.

“Having kids practice what is expected of them with these new guidelines will help them feel more prepared when it’s time for school to start,” says Gilboa. “Whether it’s packing their backpack or starting the morning with structured activities such as reading or coloring, having this routine will help kids transition better into the school year.”

Don’t underestimate a child’s stress 

Research shows that most elementary school children report some symptoms of nerves or anxiety around returning to school each year. In these unprecedented times, those numbers are expected to rise dramatically. According to Gilboa, the biggest signs of stress to look out for in kids include behavior, sleep and appetite changes, difficulty with normal communication, or not enjoying things they normally do.

“Kids will pick up on their parents’ stress leading up to the school year, so it’s important to remember to manage your stress and reactions appropriately,” said Gilboa. “To help understand your kids’ true feelings, ask questions to encourage them to share good and bad experiences. This way, when your child is going through something stressful, they have the practice and expectation that they can talk about it with their parents.”

Parents can start by encouraging kids to share a couple of good things that happened in the day, and also a challenge. Questions could include “what moment made you smile today” or “tell me about a moment you wish you could erase.”

The upcoming school year will feel overwhelming but taking extra time to understand and communicate with kids and their teachers will help everyone feel more in control and prepared for the school year. To join Kleenex® brand in funding the resources needed for students and teachers this year, please visit DonorsChoose.org/Kleenex.

Posted in Back 2 School, FeaturedComments Off on Three ways families can better prepare for the school year

Six back-to-school tips for parents of kids with allergies

 (BPT) – For kids who live with allergies and asthma, back-to-school can spell trouble with symptoms.

Late summer/early fall is the height of ragweed season. When you add in exposure to environmental factors found in school classrooms, playing fields and eating areas, you have the perfect recipe to jump start your child’s otherwise-under-control allergy and asthma symptoms.

These six steps from the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI) can help get your child off on the right foot for the school year. Feeling as good as possible means being able to stay focused on learning.

1. Schedule an appointment with your child’s allergist 

Before the first bell rings, make an appointment with a board-certified allergist. Allergists have the best training and medical expertise to offer the most effective treatments for your child’s allergies and asthma. Your allergist can work with you to create an allergy action plan to help your child’s teacher understand your child’s triggers, as well as how to control allergy flares. According to ACAAI, children who see an allergist have fewer missed school days! Use the ACAAI Find an Allergist tool to locate an allergist in your area.

2. Be aware of potential problems in the school building

As anyone who lives with allergies can attest, a school building can be a minefield of allergens. New carpeting can release volatile organic compounds, open windows let in pollen, classroom pets can release dander and bathrooms can harbor mold. It can be helpful to take a tour of the school ahead of time and discuss your child’s triggers with their teacher or school administrators. They can work with you to minimize the impact on your child.

3. Make sure ragweed doesn’t cut your child’s game short

Even with allergies or asthma, your child should be able to enjoy the activities they love – on the playground, in the gym and on the playing field. The key is to follow your allergist’s advice. For seasonal allergens like ragweed, it’s especially important to think ahead to avoidance and treatment, so if your child has a reaction, your child’s coaches and teachers know what to do.

4. Know how the school responds to allergy emergencies 

Knowing how the school handles allergy and asthma emergencies can bring peace of mind. What happens if your child can’t find their rescue inhaler? Does the school keep extra supplies of asthma medications? Which teachers are trained to respond to a severe allergic reaction like anaphylaxis from a food allergy or bee sting? Who calls 911 and when? Review your district’s policy and, if needed, set up a meeting with the school nurse. Who knows? You may be the one to call attention to a critical missing step!

5. Consider long-term treatments like allergy immunotherapy 

Many kids with moderate to severe allergies can benefit from allergy immunotherapy – regular treatments delivered through shots and under-the-tongue tablets. These treatments gradually “train” the body’s immune system to become less sensitive and reactive to the things that make your child wheeze and sneeze. Talk to your child’s allergist to learn more and find out if it’s a good option for your child.

6. Don’t have an allergist for your child? Find one! 

A board-certified allergist can set your child on the right track, for the long term, to handle their allergies or asthma in school and at home. To find one, visit the ACAAI allergist locator. For more information and to find relief, visit AllergyandAsthmaRelief.org.

Posted in Back 2 School, FeaturedComments Off on Six back-to-school tips for parents of kids with allergies

The Test every kid needs before going back to school

Remember, vision and learning are directly connected, as approximately 80 percent of what a child learns is presented visually. For success in the classroom, the sports field and more, start the school year right with a comprehensive eye exam. PHOTO SOURCE: (c) Valerii Honcharuk / stock.Adobe.com

(StatePoint) Before schedules get too hectic, experts say that parents should prioritize a visit to the eye doctor this back-to-school season.

 “An annual comprehensive eye exam is essential for optimal wellness, as well as ensuring your child reaches his or her full academic potential,” says Dr. Jennifer Wademan, VSP network eye doctor.

The incidence of visual impairment in preschool children is expected to increase 26 percent over the next 45 years, affecting almost 220,000 children, according to a recent study by the USC Gayle and Edward Roski Eye Institute. What’s more, kids have more demand on their eyes and vision than ever before due to the increased use of digital devices.

To help ensure a smooth transition back-to-school, consider the following tips and insights:

Get a Comprehensive Eye Exam

While 76 percent of parents said sight is the most important sense, only 50 percent take their kids for an annual eye exam, according to a recent survey conducted by YouGov and VSP Vision Care, with many parents under the incorrect impression that the vision screening conducted by the school nurse or at the pediatrician’s office is sufficient. Although many schools offer abbreviated vision screenings throughout the year, they can miss up to 80 percent of vision problems, including serious conditions like amblyopia (lazy eye), which can lead to vision loss if not treated. An annual comprehensive eye exam is the best way to detect vision problems, as well as other conditions related to the eyes that can affect overall health and wellness.

 “How a child’s brain processes visual information is complex, and a screening alone isn’t a substitute for a comprehensive exam, nor is it the most reliable way to track a child’s eye health,” says Dr. Wademan. “A comprehensive eye exam with an eye doctor however, evaluates multiple aspects of vision, including the close-up skills essential for reading, tracking and focusing.”

Don’t Wait for Complaints 

Among those parents who do not bring their children to the eye doctor annually, 72 percent of moms and 48 percent of dads said they would be motivated to do so if their child complains of discomfort or changes in vision. Don’t wait for that first complaint! Certain changes to eyesight can happen gradually, and children may not realize that their vision is impaired.

Dr. Wademan points out that catching problems early is important:

 “When a child’s visual system is not given a clear and focused image, and if his or her eyes are not working together, the child could fail to ever achieve normal visual acuity,” she says. “These patients end up struggling to see well in adulthood, even with contacts or glasses.”

To find an eye doctor near you, visit VSP.com.

Posted in Back 2 School, FeaturedComments Off on The Test every kid needs before going back to school

How to scratch head lice off your list of worries

Two lice viewed under an electron microscope. Note the claws used to grasp onto individual hairs. Photo Credit: CDC

(NAPS)—One of the most common human parasitic infestations around, head lice affect an estimated 6-12 million Americans annually, most of them children. 

If your kids are at risk, here’s something you should know: Catching lice early is vital to helping stop the spread of these itchy pests. 

What To Do

• Since it can take 4 to 6 weeks for symptoms such as itching to show up, it’s a good idea to make weekly lice checks a habit at home to stop an infestation before it gets out of control. 

Don’t share items that touch the head. Teach children to keep their hats, helmets, brushes, headbands, scarves and other items to themselves. 

• When possible, have children wear long hair pulled back.

Catch it early. If you notice your child scratching his head, do a thorough check.

Act quickly. If you are notified of an outbreak, immediately check your child’s hair, searching for nits close to the scalp or sores from scratching at the nape of the neck or behind the ears. Check all family members using a nit comb. Apply a 50/50 solution of conditioner and water to the hair to make combing easier. Work under bright light and watch for movement. Examine the comb after each stroke.

• Don’t worry and don’t blame the child. Even if your kid does bring home lice, it’s not the end of the world. There are affordable pesticide-free over-the-counter products that can help you treat the problem without having to spend a lot of time or money on going to a clinic.

Here’s How To Handle The Problem

Treat anyone who’s infested. There are more options than ever before for treating head lice, however not all products work the same. With lice growing increasingly resistant to traditional over-the-counter pesticides, look for a pesticide-free treatment that’s clinically proven effective against super lice and eggs. If a product doesn’t specifically say it “kills” lice and eggs, it won’t. Some products are designed only to make removal combing of lice easier. Vamousse Lice Treatment comes in a convenient mousse formula that kills lice and eggs before they hatch, while they are still in the hair.  In just one application it attacks the full life cycle of adult lice and eggs so there’s no waiting for the eggs to hatch and then treating again. This decreases the hassle and the risk of spreading lice throughout your family.

Once exposed to lice, it’s too late for a repellent. Stray lice may have already been contracted. Nits and scurrying lice are so small that they can easily be missed during a parent’s visual inspection of a child’s hair. If you don’t find lice but are still concerned or have just treated a child, you can switch the whole family to a daily lice defense shampoo such as Vamousse Lice Defense for two weeks. It’s gentle, pesticide-free and used just like regular shampoo, yet laboratory studies have shown it can kill lice with each use.

Learn More

For further facts and tips, visit www.vamousselice.com

Posted in Back 2 SchoolComments Off on How to scratch head lice off your list of worries

Tips for parents of children with disabilities

These things will help them to succeed in school

By Jennifer Laszlo Mizrahi, president, Respectability.org

 As someone with a disability myself, and who also knows what it means to parent a child with multiple disabilities, I’ve become an advocate for my children on so many fronts, including their education. After all, when it comes to disability and inclusion, despite good intentions, many schools don’t even know what they don’t know. Also, only 61% of students with disabilities get a high school degree — so it is up to people with disabilities, and their loved ones, to educate and advocate for disability inclusion and success. This is especially true when enabling children with disabilities to have full access to education. While today on average only 1-in-3 working age adults with a disability have a job, studies show that 70% of young people with disabilities can get jobs and careers. But we have to do our part. Here are some tips I’ve used in the past that may be helpful to you:

1. Know you are not alone. 

Fully 1-in-5 Americans has a disability. While parenting a child with differences feels lonely at times, seek out other families with similar experiences. Peers can offer good advice, and may become your new best friends. They reside in your local community and online.

2. Research which schools in your area have real experience and success working with children with disabilities. 

While all public schools are required to accommodate students with disabilities, some schools may have magnet programs specifically for your child’s educational needs. In other cases, you may want to resist when your school district wants to bus your child across town to a school for other kids with disabilities, when accommodations can be easily made at his or her neighborhood school.

Call your local disability groups to see what resources and leads they can offer. Ask other parents of children with disabilities about their experiences with different schools.

Go online to look at the school’s website. Does it say they welcome and serve people with disabilities?

3. Write an “all about how to succeed with my child” letter. 

Yes, you should also prepare a file with your child’s Individualize Education Plan (IEP), including suggestions for success from any speech, physical, occupational, mental health or other therapists that works with your child. But don’t expect all teachers to be knowledgeable enough to understand some of the technical material. Your letter should be easy to read.

Provide a toolkit for working with your child. Put things into simple language with bullets of information that the school needs to know to make your child’s experience safe and successful.

Remember, as a parent, you have unique insights about your child that can help your child’s teacher understand his/her strengths and needs. Your candor, experience and advice will be much appreciated. Depending on the age of your child, you may want your child to help write the memo.

4. Request a meeting with your child’s teacher and team. 

Yes, everyone is busy. However, if you miss out on having a real substantive conversation, you may create a situation that turns your child off to school and learning.

Additionally, it is not enough to meet with the school principal. You need to sit face-to-face with teacher who will be in the classroom with your child, as well as the school leaders who support that teacher. If appropriate, bring your child’s therapists. Depending on the age of your child, you may want to bring them to this meeting.

Before the meeting, you should send your memo about your child to all the meeting participants. Bring copies of it to the meeting as well, and have your “elevator pitch” about your child ready to go. You may want to practice it in front of someone who can offer constructive criticism. It is important to get your points across quickly so they can ask questions. Teachers will really appreciate your efforts, resources and transparency.

Once the teachers learn about your child, the school may want to put an extra aid in the classroom to support your child’s needs. Alternatively, they may want to match your child with a different teacher who is more experienced. If so, do your “elevator pitch” and Q&A with that teacher as well. The school may benefit from having your child’s occupational or physical therapist meet with them, or join the class for a day, to give the teacher some tips.

5. Ask the teacher and team about their preferred method of communication.

Mutual respect and trust are important to all relationships. This includes the relationship you want to cultivate with your child’s teacher. That’s why it’s important to find out which method of communication suits them the best. Many prefer emails.

6. Be fully transparent with your child’s team.

If your child has tantrums, be sure the staff understands what causes the tantrums, and how to prevent them. If your child needs notification before a transition, or has a tick or expression that they use to indicate he or she is anxious, the team needs to know, so they can best serve your child. This is not the time to worry about privacy – you need to focus on safety and success.

7. Be upbeat. Teachers want proactive parents.

A positive relationship with your child’s teacher will help your child feel good about school. Before you hit “send,” look over emails, making sure they’re respectful of the teacher’s time and also of their efforts to help your child. It’s great for you to ask questions and make suggestions as long as your message conveys your trust that the teacher is performing her job ethically, responsibly and to the best of their ability. You want to be their partner. Remember that a teacher is a person first. Send thank you notes, volunteer, let them know when your child really enjoyed a particular lesson, and try to be considerate of their schedule; teachers have families too.

8. Share your enthusiasm for learning with your child.

Talk with your child about they will be learning during the year, and why it is important to you. Let your child know that you have confidence in their ability to master the content, and that you believe it will be a positive part of their life. Reinforce the natural progression of the learning process that occurs over the school year. Learning skills take time and repetition. Encourage your child to be patient, attentive, and positive.

9. Slow down and take the time to do it right.

Transitions are often difficult for children with disabilities. There will be a few bumps in the road. Your child will have a successful year at school in spite of difficulties. As we move into the first few weeks of school, stay calm and positive. Remember to take care of yourself. Know your limitations, and don’t be afraid to ask for help. Make sure your child has enough sleep, plenty of time to get up, eat breakfast, and get to school.

10. Familiarize yourself with the other professionals.

Make an effort to find out who it is in the school who can be a resource for you and your child. Learn their roles and how best to access their help if you need them. This can include the principal, cleaning and kitchen crew, front office personnel and others who may work with kids with disabilities on a daily basis.

11. Reinforce your child’s ability to cope.

Give your child a few strategies to manage a difficult situation on his or her own, but encourage your child to tell you or the teacher if problems persist. Maintain open lines of communication with the school.

12. Help your child make at least one real friend there.

Arrange play dates. Try to arrange get-togethers with some of your child’s classmates during the first weeks of school to help your child establish positive social relationships with peers. Go to holiday events with other children and help facilitate actual friendships for your child. Parents of other children both with and without disabilities who are friends with your child can become your new best friends as well.

13. Listen to Your Child’s Feelings.

When your child shows any anxiety about going back to school, the worst thing you can do is brush it off with a “don’t worry about it” response. Listen and be responsive to your own child and empower them to advocate for themselves as well. Show them your love. Sometimes you need to take a little step back in order to move forward.

14. Enjoy their childhood.

It goes way too fast!

Posted in Back 2 School, FeaturedComments Off on Tips for parents of children with disabilities

Facts and myths about germs at school

(c) Syda Productions/stock.Adobe.com

(StatePoint) Everybody seems to have an opinion about germs — what causes them, where they’re located, how to avoid them — especially when it comes to children.

Experts say that American children miss 22 million days of school annually due to colds, flu and other infections.

“Avoiding germs at schools isn’t as simple as just washing your hands in the bathroom or sneezing into your sleeve,” says Charles Gerba, Ph.D., professor of microbiology and environmental sciences at the University of Arizona. “Germs are on everything kids touch in the classroom, as well as around the hallways, cafeteria and playground.”

With this in mind, it is important to separate facts from myths about germs in schools.

• Fact: Desks Are Among the Most Germ-Prone Items. It’s true! Students spend most of the day at their desks — sneezes, coughs and all — and, in some schools, they often switch classrooms and share desks with others. At the end of the day, students bring home that cocktail of germs to their families.

• Myth: Any Hand Sanitizer Will Do. According to research from the University of Colorado at Boulder, people carry an average of 3,200 bacteria on their hands. While most hand sanitizers are 99.9 percent effective at killing germs, some only last for a few minutes or until the application dries on the skin. Therefore, parents should consider applying hand sanitizers for their children that last throughout the day, such as Zoono’s GermFree24, which is proven to last for 24 hours on skin and is available as both a foam and a spray.

• Fact: Germs Can Affect Kids Outside the Classroom. Germs in schools aren’t just isolated to classrooms. They are everywhere, including cafeteria trays, playground jungle gyms and sports equipment. In fact, the Clinical Journal of Sports Medicine found 63 percent of gym equipment is contaminated with rhinovirus, which causes the common cold. Reminding children to wash their hands before and after using these items (and wiping them down) will go a long way toward preventing sickness.

• Myth: Sticking Things in Your Mouth is Child’s Play. Sure, curiosity might drive preschoolers to stick items in their mouths that don’t belong. However, older students who nervously chew on pen caps, especially ones they borrow from classmates, or on their own fingernails during tough tests, are susceptible to picking up the germs that are traversing through school.

• Fact: Backpacks Carry More Than Just Books. Backpacks go everywhere — to classrooms, inside lockers, in the cafeteria, in locker rooms — and collect various germs throughout the day. Periodically clean backpacks inside and out. And make sure lunches and other food items, as well as gym clothes, are packed in separate bags to avoid cross-contamination of germs.

• Myth: Sharing is Always Caring. Just about every school supply — from pens and pencils to headphones to sport jerseys — can be a vehicle for harmful bacteria. Make sure children are armed with their own items, including mechanical pencils to avoid using the classroom’s pencil sharpener, and avoid sharing their supplies with classmates.

When it comes to germs, separating myths from facts can help you have a happier, healthier school year.

Posted in Back 2 School, FeaturedComments Off on Facts and myths about germs at school

Tips on choosing a lice treatment for back-to-school 


Parents today can defend their kids from picking up lice at school.

With So Many Lice Treatments Available, Parents Are Left Scratching Their Heads


(NAPS)—Lice cases spike during the back-to-school season, which means many parents will be shopping for lice treatment along with No. 2 pencils as kids return to the classroom. Parents have a variety of over-the-counter (OTC) options for treating lice—many more than their parents had—so selecting a product may feel overwhelming. Pesticide-free lice treatment Vamousse provides a look at the three most common types of lice treatment products found in the first aid aisle.

Pesticide-Based Lice Treatments

Traditionally, pesticide-based products have been the most common lice treatments available. These products contain the active ingredients permethrin or pyrethrum, which are pesticides introduced more than four decades ago as pediculicides-—OTC drugs to kill lice. With these products, the formula kills lice but does little to kill their eggs, making a second application necessary seven to 10 days later to kill newly hatched lice that were in the egg stage when the first treatment was performed.

A big concern today is pesticide resistance. Researchers studying head lice across the U.S. have documented that strains of “super lice” exist in much of the country. As a result of having relied on the same chemicals to treat lice over decades, resistance has grown, leading to less consistent reliability of these pesticide-containing products.

Pesticide-Free Lice Treatments

This category of products is aimed at addressing the pesticide-resistance challenge and providing a different approach to ending an infestation. Within the pesticide-free category, there are two main types of products: pediculicides and combing facilitators.

Pesticide-Free Pediculicides

This newer generation of treatments emphasizes safe, nontoxic ingredients with the ability to kill lice, including super lice, without using the pesticides to which lice have become resistant. Often, these products include a Drug Facts box indicating that the FDA recognizes the active ingredient as a pediculicide—an OTC drug for the treatment of lice.

Vamousse Lice Treatment is an example of a pesticide-free pediculicide. Vamousse is also proven to kill eggs, dehydrating them with the treatment. This means that both the adult lice and their laid eggs are killed with the application rather than needing to wait for eggs to hatch. Parents also get the benefit of ingredients that are nontoxic and safe to reapply as needed, so there is no waiting period to fully end an infestation or quickly treat a reinfestation.

Combing Facilitators

Combing is the original method of ending a lice infestation (evidence dates back even to the time of Cleopatra!). Some products in the lice treatment section serve to condition the hair for easier combing, supporting the manual removal of lice. These products can be recognized by language about “loosening the nit glue” or “eliminating lice and eggs.” For many parents, combing alone is a time-intensive, highly involved activity that may need to be repeated frequently to get complete removal, so they should be aware that these combing aids do not kill lice.

What Parents Should Know

The best way to identify a head lice infestation early is by doing regular head checks. If you find lice, check the rest of the family and alert playmates. With the range of treatments on the market, be sure to follow the directions carefully for the product you select as procedures vary based on the type of product.

About Vamousse Lice Treatment

At Vamousse, they know parents want to eliminate head lice quickly. That’s why they’re proud to offer fast, effective products for parents to control lice and super lice with ingredients they can feel good about. Vamousse Lice Treatment kills both lice and eggs with the first application so kids and parents can get back to focusing on life—not the itchy effects of head lice.

Learn more about proactive lice management this back-to-school season and how Vamousse works at http://vamousselice.com/backtoschool.

Posted in Back 2 SchoolComments Off on Tips on choosing a lice treatment for back-to-school 

Flashing Lights on Top, You Must Stop:


Safety First as School Buses Hit the Road

Schools start August 21, 22, 23, 28 and September 5

 – We’ve all been in the car behind the school bus and in just a few days, many of us will be in that position again.  Knowing when to stop and when to go can mean the difference between a safe ride to school for students and a potentially deadly situation.  According to Darryl Hofstra, Forest Hills School District transportation director, some 16,000 school buses in Michigan transport 700,000 students daily.  That’s more than 200 million individual student rider trips, traveling 175 million miles, per school year.

Knowing when to stop and when to go when approaching a school bus is more than good safety practice, it’s the law.  Michigan legislation defines a “school bus zone” as the area lying within 20 feet of a school bus that has stopped with its red flashing lights on.  That’s 20 feet in every direction – front, back, both sides and diagonally from each fender corner.  It’s easy to remember what school bus lights mean if you think of them as traffic signals:  When you see red flashing lights, STOP; when you see yellow flashing lights, proceed slowly with CAUTION.

“Whenever you see a school bus, use extreme caution,” said Fred Doelker, safety and training director for Dean Transportation.  “Think of it as though you were a parent or grandparent and those were your kids in the bus.”  The fines for causing injury or death in a school bus zone are the same penalties for work zones and emergency scene violations.  Doelker advises motorists to take bus safety seriously and personally.

“The greatest risk to students is that area around the bus,” he continued. “When we talk with students, we call it the danger zone. If the bus is stopped, you can count on kids loading or unloading there. That’s why our advice to all motorists is to maintain a safe distance. Children may be coming from any direction, so maintaining that zone helps protect them.”

Burr Smith, 25-year trainer for bus drivers in Kent ISD, said student safety is his biggest concern and the key concept he teaches. “Everyone who shares the road needs to respect school bus zones and follow the law. It’s up to all of us to watch out for kids.”

The diagram below demonstrates the area within 20 feet of a school bus that is known as the School Bus Safety Zone.


Posted in Back 2 SchoolComments Off on Flashing Lights on Top, You Must Stop:



Get Your Copy of The Cedar Springs Post for just $40 a year!