Getting in the Back-to-School Mindset: Tips for a Successful and Injury-Free School Season

As we get closer to the end of summer, routines start to change: we wind down the late nights, lazy weekends, and days of endless fun as back-to-school season approaches.

While all new routines require some adjustment, the return to school doesn’t need to be a struggle! 

With a little preparation, you can help make your child’s return to the classroom as seamless as possible.

We did our homework and came up with the tips below, which will keep your student’s mind sharp and attitude positive for those long days spent learning and connecting with other students, teachers, counselors, and coaches. 

Here are our ten tips for a successful return to school:

Rest! Get plenty of sleep.  

This one is easier said than done – after all, students usually follow a full school day with afterschool sports, homework, jobs, and family time. It can be hard to find enough time in the day to get a good night’s sleep!

However, sleep is vitally important for growing minds and bodies.

Studies show that 45% of adolescents do not get enough sleep for their average school day. 8-10 hours per night is needed to keep their brains growing.

Develop a daily routine.  

Elementary and secondary school students do their best work when they have an established routine after school.  

That’s not to say the occasional surprise trip to the local ice cream shop isn’t necessary, just that most days, routine is important.

Don’t forget free time.

Sometimes, we forget the importance of just letting kids have some time to be kids.

Even if it’s just a little bit of free time, ensure that your child has some unstructured time to enjoy one of their hobbies or just relax.

Feeling down? Talk it out.  

It’s important to encourage healthy mental health habits for children of all ages. The return to school can be stressful for kids and teens – make sure your children have an outlet.

Encourage your children to talk to you, call a friend, or chat with a buddy if they’re feeling down or overwhelmed.

Children should also know how to access available resources at school, including how to reach their counselors.

Focus on a healthy diet.

The foods kids eat affect their mood, disposition, productivity, and attention span.

In this era of immediate gratification, teach your kids about the importance of making healthy food choices and how those choices can positively impact mind, body, and soul.

Choosing the right foods will help your child have the energy they need to get through the day without having negative side effects.

Keep an eye on screen time.

While it may not be practical (or healthy) to completely eliminate screen time, it’s important to make sure your kids do something other than sit in front of the computer screen or game console.

Set healthy limits on screen time and ensure your kids get enough physical activity each day – whether it’s a walk around the block or an afterschool sport.

Always wear a helmet.

Make sure your kids wear a helmet while biking, skateboarding, or riding a scooter – every ride, every time!

Always look both ways.

For many kids, a return to school means more time spent walking around their neighborhood. 

Emphasize the “look both ways” approach: remind your children to look left, right, and left again before crossing the street.

Encourage proper seatbelt use.

Similar to wearing a helmet, remind your child to wear a seatbelt every time they ride in a car.

It doesn’t matter if it’s just a quick ride down the street – buckle up!

Check your child’s backpack.

A return to school means your child will be toting around a backpack filled with textbooks, notebooks, and more. 

Backpacks can be deceptively heavy, especially for young children!

Take a look at your child’s backpack to make sure the straps are set correctly and encourage your child to carry their backpack on both shoulders.

Proper backpack use will help limit injury and back pain.

This blog was written by our Trauma Program Injury Prevention Team.

Learn more about our Injury Prevention Program.