As we turn the page on our calendar from July to August, it’s time to think about getting ready to go back to school. We asked PHN’s Chief Medical Officer, Dr. George Garrow, to offer some health and safety tips to help prepare parents and students for another successful school year!1) Establish a good sleep routine even before the start of classesAdequate sleep is associated with improved academic achievement at all grade levels, including college. We recommend 8-10 hours of sleep for most school-age children. It’s a good idea to transition bedtime and wake-up time gradually over a few weeks to match the schedule that you and your children will need to get to classes on time.2) Reduce screen timeStudents will spend a big part of their day sitting in their classrooms. Help your children spend less time in front of the television, computer and video games by being a good role model and reducing your own screen time as well. Turn off the TV during mealtime and talk with your children about what they learned in school. Families that eat together also tend to eat healthier!3) Get activeGetting ready for the school year can be a busy time, but making time for physical activity should be a priority. Late summer is an ideal time to play outside. Take your children for a walk or a bike ride. Wouldn’t it be fun to turn on some music and have a family dance party?4) Choose a safe backpackLook for a backpack with wide, padded shoulders and a padded back. Practice packing the backpack so that it’s organized and not too heavy. The backpack should never weigh more than 10-20% of your child’s weight.5) Get a check-upA physical exam and check-up before the start of the school year is an excellent way to make sure your student is up-to-date on immunizations. Your healthcare provider might also perform an eye exam to make sure your child has healthy vision to help them succeed in school.6) Develop a healthy eating routineStudents who eat a nutritious breakfast perform better in school and have better concentration and energy. Talk with your children about healthy and nutritious lunch choices while in school. Encourage them to drink plenty of water throughout the day and avoid sugary soft drinks and soda.Here’s to a healthy and successful 2017-2018 school year! George Garrow, MD joined Primary Health Network in March 2016 as Chief Medical Officer. He earned his medical degree from The Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine in Hershey, PA. You can catch Dr. Garrow in the upcoming PHN commercial, and he also appeared as an extra in the television drama “The West Wing”!