For children, the new school year always comes too soon. It seems like summer just started and suddenly it is September again. As a parent, you may feel the same way. You just finished planning all the vacation activities and now you are buying new backpacks and making sure your kids have all their schoolbooks. Much work goes into getting your kids ready for school every day. Along with packing lunches and sending school supplies, divorced dads have a lot to handle! Here are three things you might have forgotten for the new school year.
Have your children been properly vaccinated?
Vaccines have made national headlines over the past year. What many of these news stories have left out is how to check if your child has received all necessary vaccines. School districts set vaccine requirements that must be met in order for your children to be enrolled each year. If you don’t have the proper documentation at registration, your child may not be able to start classes on time.
Most likely your children’s pediatrician administered the vaccines and will be able to supply medical records to the school. If you moved in the past few years or have had different doctors, you may want to compare your children’s medical records with a vaccine schedule to make sure nothing was missed. The Centers for Disease Control has detailed information on vaccines for Infants & Children and Preteens & Teens. You can also check with your children’s school or the local school district. If you live in King County, immunization information is posted in the Public Health section of the county website.
Can your children use their smart devices at school?
Did your kids get new technology over the summer they are excited about using in class? Make sure you and your children know school rules about using smart phones, tablets, watches, and other technology at school and in class. Some schools may not yet have developed policies for newer technology such as smart watches. Let your children know it is not a good idea to try and get around the rules by sneaking in a smart watch and texting during class. Technology is now an important part of the learning experience and more and more tablets are replacing traditional books. Help your children use it responsibly at school.
Are there any food restrictions at their school?
You may not think twice about packing your son’s lunch with a peanut butter and jelly sandwich or sending your daughter with a batch of cupcakes for her class, but you could be running afoul of school policies that restrict certain foods. Such policies are often put in place by schools to protect children with severe food allergies and help promote healthy eating at school.
Peanut allergies are one of the most common and dangerous food allergies experienced by children. In response, some schools have restrictions on foods containing peanuts or peanut oil. Being aware of any policies will help your child follow the rules and keep other children safe. Even if the school doesn’t have any specific food policies, it is important to talk with your children about the dangers of food allergies. They wouldn’t want to share something that would make one of their friends sick.
Starting things off right at the beginning of the school year will help your children (and you) have a great year at school. Once September is over and everything is settled into a routine, you can start planning for winter break!