In addition to the usual social and educational stresses of going to school, kids are faced with many other issues, including drug use, violence, suicide and bullies. Talking with your children about these issues at age appropriate times may help decrease their chances of becoming a victim to them.
It is also a good idea to regularly talk with your child about how school is going. Regular communication will help you to recognize problems early, before they get out of control and when it is easier to intervene. Does your child like going to school? Is he making friends? How are his grades? Is there anything he doesn't like about school? What happens during breaks, such as recess, lunch and in between classes? Break-time is when children are most likely to be unsupervised and when problems are likely to occur, so asking open ended questions about what happens during these times may help you to recognize problem behaviors.
Other topics and issues you should review as your child goes back to school include:
Back to School VaccinesAs part of the preparation for your child going to school, you should find and review his immunization records. Are his shots current? Many schools are being rigid about not allowing children to attend school who do not meet their current immunization requirements. Preparing early and getting your child immunized can prevent a frantic call to your pediatrician and a rush to get shots.
What shots does your child need to attend kindergarten or the first grade? In addition to the shots he received as an infant, school age children usually need booster doses of the MMR, DTaP, IPV, and chicken pox vaccines. These boosters are commonly given at the 4-6 year old well child visits.
In addition to these boosters, your child may also need the hepatitis B series. Older children also require a tetanus booster (Tdap) and Menactra. This is usually given around the age of eleven or twelve years.
Since the chickenpox booster is a newer recommendation, your child may also need another chicken pox shot if he hasn't had it already. For more information: search for state vaccine requirements for school entry.