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Creating a Healthy School Routine During the COVID-19 Pandemic

November 15, 2020 • Our Blog • General Health
The school year certainly looks different this year, but you can help your child adjust by providing them with a reliable routine. Whether your children are attending school virtually, in person, or both, there’s a good chance this school year will be the first of its kind for your family. With countless changes afoot, many of your tried-and-tested routines probably won’t have a place in the 2020-2021 school year. After-school activities like sports and clubs may be on hold, and many students may be attending school online at least part of the time. These massive changes may be unsettling for students, but creating new, reliable routines for your children can go a long way toward making this year seem as normal as possible. While back-to-school routines will vary widely depending on where and how your child is attending class during these strange times, the following tips are applicable to both remote and in-person situations:

1. Get organized and stay organized.

Back-to-school shopping probably looked a little different this year. Instead of a new pair of sneakers or a 64-pack of crayons, you may have been searching for a new laptop charger or a comfortable face mask. But one thing is certain: parents should be prioritizing both health and flexibility this school year. Because it’s possible your children will be attending school in-person at least a few days per week — or may start in-person school at some point in the next few months as schools finalize their safety protocols — it’s important to be prepared for both virtual and in-person scenarios. Encourage your child to keep their school supplies neat and tidy, and consider organizing supplies in containers that can easily transition from a desk to a bookbag. Have them pack up their supplies the night before any in-person schooldays to make for a less hectic morning.

2. Build physical activity into the day.

With school sports and gym classes up in the air, it will be easy for children to slip into a sedentary lifestyle this school year. Ensure your child gets the opportunity to “get their wiggles out” by building physical activity into each virtual school day. Whether it’s an afternoon dance break, lunchtime drills to keep sports skills sharp, or an evening walk around the neighborhood, exercise is an excellent way to keep your child physically and emotionally healthy during this unusual school year. While physical activity should be built into you and your children’s schedule, that doesn’t mean the activity itself has to be routine. Have your exercise break take place at the same time each day, but change up the activity to fend off boredom and keep your child engaged.

3. Prioritize open conversations.

Everyone is feeling overwhelmed this year, and your child’s stress level is sure to be a little higher than usual. Make sure conversations about your child’s feelings are part of your routine, as knowing when and why your child is having a hard time can help you address challenges head-on before they interfere with your child’s emotional or academic wellbeing. If your child is reluctant to open up or too young to verbalize their feelings, watch for key signs of stress, including mood swings, reversions to behavior more appropriate for a younger child, aggression, or lethargy. If you notice that your child is exhibiting signs of stress and anxiety, or if they’re having trouble settling into a healthy routine, reach out to Kids’ Health. A leading pediatric clinic in the Beverly, Massachusetts, area, we’re dedicated to helping your child reach their best emotionally, physically, and academically. We’re currently open for both remote and in-person appointments, and our office is taking extensive precautions to ensure we are able to provide you and your family with a safe environment. Make an appointment today....