Back-to-School Series

As parents, students and teachers head back to school, they have many items to check off their to-do lists. While stocking up on pencils, papers and laptops, don't forget to add mental and physical health to the checklist.

In our fourth annual Back-to-School Series, we've compiled expert tips and tools to keep your mind and body in tip-top shape for a positive and healthy school year. Our Back-to-School Series is intended to provide parents with quick tips from our pediatric specialists about topics such as sleep, test anxiety, online mental health and other issues you may have questions about.


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Get kids on a regular bedtime schedule before they head back to school. Juan Martinez, MD, a sleep medicine specialist, shares tips for getting kids back on track with good sleep habits. And for more sleep tips, check out our blog on Kids Need Some Z’s Before Learning the ABCs.


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Raise your hand if your child’s bedtime has gone out the window during quarantine and a relaxed summer schedule. We know some children and teenagers are staying up late and sleeping in. Our sleep medicine specialists explain why it's time for kids to get their ZZZs and how to get back on a healthy sleep schedule. Check out our blog.

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Creating a habit of early bedtime for our little ones might be one of the best things a parent can do for their health. Beena Vells, ARNP, at our Cystic Fibrosis, Pulmonary Center and Children's Sleep Center, shares tips on the benefits of getting your child to sleep early.


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Anxiety around starting school and test taking is common in kids, teens, and college students. If not kept in check, the physical and emotional symptoms can really take a toll. Alli Lebowitz, MSW, LCSW, ER social work supervisor and therapist, has tips on how to support your kids and help reduce their anxiety. Also see, What to Do When Tests Give Your Student Anxiety, for more info.

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Datasource: Dr. Ximena Flanders advice on anxiety      

Pediatric psychologist Ximena Flanders, PsyD, shares three back to school tips to help parents as their kids transition. Visit our blog for additional back to school coping tips.

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Check out Dr. Flanders' additional tips to help your kids stay calm and start feeling good about returning to school in-person.


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Datasource: Back to School Online Mental Health 
Time spent online or on social media may be damaging to a child’s mental health. Neuropsychologist Christina Ortega, PsyD, discusses the dangers and the importance of parents setting boundaries. Learn more in our blog post, It’s a Jungle Out There; Protect Your Child’s Online Mental Health.


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Datasource: Why kids need vaccinations      

It's vital to stay up to date on your children's immunizations to help avoid preventable diseases like chickenpox (varicella), measles and hepatitis A. Carolina Kaack, ARNP, talks about how to prepare and what vaccination services are available in our community, like Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital Mobile Health Center.


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Datasource: Reconditioning for youth sports      

Back to school and back to sports! Whether it's virtual dance classes, travel baseball or training for karate, did you know that returning to sports after downtime requires reconditioning?

Matthew Fazekas, MD, medical director of the U18 Pediatric Sports Medicine Program shares tips on three important things to help kids return to sports safely and avoid injuries.

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As student athletes return to organized sports after summer break, it is important to understand the effects that a period of inactivity can have on the body. Pediatric sports medicine specialist, Michael Dressing, MD, shares his thoughts on ways to combat detraining in athletes.


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Datasource: Virtual PT Telehealth Visit      

In our post pandemic world, telehealth has become an integral part of how we use technology to treat and heal. Kids continue to have access to important therapies like physical therapy (PT), occupational therapy (OT) and speech therapy.

As we wrap up our Back-to-School series, Debbie Lessard, director of Rehabilitation at Memorial Hospital West, discusses the benefits telehealth rehabilitation therapies are having on children. Some of these include reaching goals quicker and saving time in the car.


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Elba Iglesias, MD, medical director, Adolescent Medicine, shares tips on what parents should watch for if they suspect their child may have an eating disorder.


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As the number of kids with food allergies continues to climb, pediatric allergist and immunologist Nicole Akar-Ghibril, MD, shares tips to keep in mind as children return to school.

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Back to School Anxiety

Tips to help families cope with anxiety around returning to school.

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Healthy Sleep Habits

Tips to help you get your kids into a normal sleep routine.

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Prevent Detraining

Tips for athletes to prevent the effects of detraining.