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 third 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, vaping, 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 & Sleep Center, shares tips on the benefits of getting your child to sleep early.


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Test anxiety is common in kids and teens, even college students. 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 test anxiety. And see What to Do When Tests Give Your Student Anxiety for more info.

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With more uncertainty again this year, children may be experiencing heightened anxiety about going back to school. Pediatric Psychologist, Ximena Flanders, PsyDshares 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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Vaping, or the use of e-cigarettes, is dangerous, but an alarming number of high school and middle school students are vaping daily. Carolina Miranda Torres, MD, pulmonologist, discusses the dangers and what parents can do. And for more information, check out our blog on Smoke Signals: Signs Your Child May Be Vaping.


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Even though most children in South Florida are going back to school virtually, experts say 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. Stay tuned for more back-to-school information from our experts.


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To help answer your questions about COVID-19 vaccines for kids who are 12 and older, our Director of Pharmacy, Brian McKee, addresses several common misconceptions. Stay up to date on the latest information on our COVID-19 Vaccination Update page.

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For a deeper dive, check out our blog post, Top 3 COVID-19 Vaccine Myths Debunked.


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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      

The pandemic has changed our way of life in many ways, including the way we use technology to treat and heal. Kids now have access to important therapies like physical therapy (PT), occupational therapy (OT) and speech therapy through telehealth.

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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Adolescent eating disorders have been on the rise since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.  Elba Iglesias, MD, medical director, Adolescent Medicine, shares tips on what parents should watch for as children go back to school.


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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 you 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.