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Back-to-School Transition: Expert Tips from Norman Regional

Back-to-School Transition: Expert Tips from Norman Regional

Back-to-school season is upon us! To help parents navigate this crucial phase, Norman Regional Health System is here to help with heading back to class.

Mandi Brown

Mandi Brown is an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN) and Certified Nurse Practitioner (CNP) at Norman Regional’s Primary Care - West Moore, 14800 S. Western Ave., Suite A, Oklahoma City, OK, 405-515-0330.

Brown provides useful advice to help prepare your child for a successful and healthy school year. The advice focuses on their physical, mental, and emotional well-being.

Physical, Mental, and Emotional Preparation

As the school bell rings once again, parents must focus on their child's holistic well-being. Brown emphasizes the significance of physical, mental, and emotional preparation for a successful start to the year. It's important to see your family doctor. This is to address health concerns and make sure your child's vaccinations are current. This will keep them safe and the school community healthy.

Brown says getting the kiddos back on track before the start of school is key to starting the year off right.

“Maybe a week or so before school, have the kids start going to bed at their normal bedtime and then set that alarm so they can start getting used to waking up again like they would be going off to school,” Brown says. “Another thing to get ahead is getting school supplies early, to help kids feel prepared. That can kind of be a transition for families to get back in the groove of being ready for school.”

To help with your child’s mental preparedness as they transition from summer mode to school mode, attend the back-to-school night.

“It helps kind of ease their transition on that first day,” Brown said. “It helps them find the classroom, meet the teacher, and a lot of times where their desk will be in the classroom. And then of course, it's fun for them to get to see some of their new classmates and hopefully have some friends in class that they recognize from the years before. It helps ease that first-day anxiety.”

Creating a safe space for them to express their thoughts will ease anxieties and build trust. Encourage regular conversations about school, their expectations, and any fears they might have. Listening attentively and validating their experiences can go a long way in helping them feel prepared and confident.

“If your kids are going to be walking to school, practice that route with them. If they're going to be bike riders, show them the route that they'll be taking, and if there are bike racks that they need be sure to show them how to lock their bike up. Just give them some practice ahead of time,” Brown says.

Overcoming Common Back-to-School Challenges

As the school year begins, children and parents may face various challenges. Brown offers valuable advice to address these obstacles proactively. Separation anxiety is a common concern, affecting both children and parents.

“Going back to school that seems to be a little bit more stressful for the kids is when they're switching schools. If they're moving from elementary to junior high, or their first year of high school, that's a big step for them,” Brown says. “Try finding a neighbor or friend or someone that they know that might be comfortable to talk it over.”

Health and Safety Measures

Handwashing is your superpower

Amidst the ongoing flu and COVID-19 concerns, health and safety remain paramount. Brown urges parents to reinforce good hygiene practices with their children, including regular handwashing. Especially after handling frequently touched devices like phones and tablets. Ensure your child understands the importance of staying home when feeling unwell to protect themselves and their peers.

RELATED BLOG: 5 Steps to Wash Your Hands the Right Way

“Just basic hand washing can help prevent a lot of spread of illness. Don't share drinks with anyone, or don't share chapstick,” Brown says. “Parents should keep up with their kid's well-child checks, too. Let's make sure that vaccinations are up-to-date.

Brown also says in the fall, Norman Regional Primary Care Clinics offer flu vaccines trying to help prevent the spread of the flu virus.

“If you sit down at a computer and the person before you was coughing and sneezing all over it, make sure you're washing your hands and if they provide some sort of sanitizing wipes, wipe it down,” Brown says. “Wipe your phone down every day when you get home from school with a sanitizing wipe.”

Managing Stress and Anxiety

School can be stressful for children, and it's essential to equip them with coping strategies to manage stress and anxiety. Brown recommends keeping an open line of communication with your child and encouraging them to talk about their feelings.

“An open line of communication with your child is important,” Brown says. “Let them know you know, everybody's nervous when you first start a new school or going back to school — you're not alone.”

Brown says don’t hesitate to reach out to the school for help. “If your kid seems anxious or is having anxiety symptoms, encourage them to talk about it, work through ways to make them feel more comfortable, or even reach out to the school counselors to help manage anxiety and stress from school.”

RELATED BLOG: 8 Tips to Improve Mental Health

As parents, you have the power to set your children on a path of success by preparing them physically, mentally, and emotionally for the school year. Brown's expert insights provide us with valuable guidance to ensure a smooth transition and a rewarding academic journey for our little ones.

So, let's embrace this back-to-school season with confidence and enthusiasm, knowing that we have the tools and knowledge to support our children every step of the way!

Norman Regional Primary Care

Norman Regional’s Primary Care clinics prioritize delivering optimal patient care for the whole family. Our team of board-certified doctors and providers is committed to catering to you and your family's well-being, offering comprehensive services such as wellness check-ups, illness management, and chronic condition care like hypertension and diabetes.

With a focus on convenience and compassion, our clinics utilize a common electronic health record system, ensuring seamless accessibility for all healthcare providers to review your medical history.

Norman Regional Walk-In Clinics

Norman Regional Walk-In Clinic

For those seeking immediate attention, Norman Regional offers two convenient and affordable Walk-In clinics offering same-day appointments. Open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, providing patients with easy access to medical care.

The Norman Regional Nine Walk-In clinic is located at 2000 Ann Branden Blvd. Suite 201 in Norman. The Norman Regional Moore Walk-In clinic is located at 700 S. Telephone Rd. Suite 201 in Moore. No appointments are needed – just walk right in! Or schedule an immediate appointment online.

Need a Primary Care Provider?

For those currently seeking a primary care physician or who need help to "Find a Doctor," our Community Call Center is readily available to assist you. Operating Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (excluding holidays), you can reach the Community Call Center via phone at 405-515-5000. Or visit our website and click on “Find a Provider.”