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EAU CLAIRE – As a new school year begins, HSHS Sacred Heart and St. Joseph’s hospitals encourage you to make the health and safety of your family a priority. Every parent wants their child to have a successful year, and taking time to consider your child’s needs for health and safety can help her or him start the year off right.
• Make healthy choices. Talk to your child about healthy food choices at home and at school.
• Play sports safely. If your child participates in sports, schedule a sports physical with your doctor and speak with your child about sports safety. Make sure your child has required safety equipment for her/his sport, and know the concussion ABCs—Assess the situation, Be alert for signs and symptoms, and Contact a health care professional if needed.
• Be good to your back. Choose a backpack with wide shoulder straps and make sure your child uses both straps evenly across the back. Having all the weight over one shoulder can lead to muscle strain. Advise your child to pack lightly. A backpack should never weigh more than 10 to 20 percent of your child’s body weight.
• Fight the spread of germs. Before your child goes back to school make sure he/she understands the importance of proper hand washing. Soap and water can do wonders in reducing your child’s risk of illness. A child should wash his/her hands properly before eating and after using the restroom.
• Turn off the screens. Set a limit to screen time of two hours or less each day.
• Get enough sleep. School-aged children need at least 10 hours a day of sleep.
• Be safe while on the roads. Children should always use a seatbelt and be placed in car seats appropriate for their age. Talk to your child about safety while at the bus stop and crossing roads.
For more information on back-to-school health, visit http://www.cdc.gov/family/kids/.