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Five tips to get back-to-school ready

Do it now!

This article was last updated on Aug. 22, 2022. 

To get ready for the year ahead, you’ve probably been busy stocking up on new clothes, pens, pencils and notebooks. But ask yourself this question: Does your checklist include more than just gadgets and gear? Does it include tips to help you and your kids get ready to take on the new school year?

If not, download this five-tip checklist.

5 quick tips to get back-to-school read - Opens PDF

Five quick tips to get back-to-school ready

  1. Check in on your kid's overall health.

    Schedule an annual physical, get in for a check-up with your dentist and make sure kids can see clearly. Some of these preventive screenings come at no cost to you through your health, dental or vision insurance. Plus, many are actually required for your child to attend school or participate in extracurricular activities. If you’re wondering what’s needed, check with your child’s doctor, the school or your health department.

    Get help scheduling all those appointments.

    Life can get stressful — especially when you've got one or more kids going back to school. But you don't have to go it alone. The nurses at BeWell 24/7SM are ready to help coordinate your family's care. Call BeWell 24/7 at Eight, Four, Four, Eight, Four, Be Well.

    By the way — what about your health? “While we often think about back-to-school as just for the kids, it’s also the perfect opportunity to take a look at your own health,” says Julie Enga, team leader, employer consulting and well-being services at Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield. This time of the year is a great reminder to schedule any appointments you may have been putting off.

  2. Make sure those dreaded shots are up to date.

    According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention External Site (CDC), vaccinations are one of the best ways parents can protect infants, children and teens from harmful diseases. Plus, to keep school kids healthy, some states require certain vaccinations.

    Recommendations for what vaccinations are needed and when tend to change. So, talk to your doctor or review these easy-to-read schedules External Site from the CDC to make sure your kids have all the proper shots.

  3. Start getting into a normal bedtime routine.

    None of us learn best when sleep-deprived! While your kids’ bedtime might have been flexible throughout the summer, don’t let the first day of school be the first alarm clock they’ve heard in weeks.

    The National Sleep Foundation External Site says now is the perfect time to return to a school-appropriate sleep schedule. Each night, set a slightly earlier bedtime and in the morning, a slightly earlier wake-up. Once the sleep schedule is established, it’s important to stick with it.

  4. Encourage healthy food choices.

    We’ve all heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics says eating in the morning is linked to helping kids concentrate and doing well in school External Site. To make it easy on yourself, have some quick, easy items in the house that’ll set your kids up for success. Maybe put together these egg muffins or protein bars on the weekend and eat them all week, or whip up this trail mix that the whole family can grab and go.

    At lunchtime, encourage your children to eat a variety of different foods that fall into the major food groups: fruits, vegetables, grains, protein and dairy. If you’re packing a cold lunch, be sure to invest in an insulated lunch box and frozen ice pack to keep perishable foods cold External Site until lunchtime. Keeping hot foods hot is just as important, so use an insulated container for things like soups.

  5. Have your health insurance benefits ready.

    Have kids heading off to college this fall? Make sure their packing list includes their Wellmark ID card. That little card has all the information needed to file a claim if they need services. Need an extra card? Log in to myWellmark® Opens New Window to request one.

    It's also important to do a little homework ahead of time — especially if your kids are going to school out-of-state. Review your benefits online Opens New Window with myWellmark or talk to your employer or agent.