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Tips for Adjusting to the Back-to-School Season

Wednesday, August 18, 2021

Though you’ve made it through the first week or two of back-to-school, you may find adjustments are still needed. Here are a few things to also keep in mind. 

Set Aside Time to Rest

The school routine may provide some welcome structure, but there’s a hidden element of chaos to it.

Being surrounded again by classmates, teachers, volunteers, and school staff, while also experiencing accelerated sensory stimulation, may lead to more exhaustion — even if your family is getting plenty of sleep. 

Everyone is adjusting to more social interaction, and children can be especially sensitive to this increase in outside stimulation.

For stress relief, help children focus on some new coping techniques “like breathing exercises, drinking water, lying on the ground, going for a walk, or refocusing on a soothing object like a calming glitter bottle,” as Amy Baez, a pediatric occupational therapist and the founder of Playapy, in a recent piece in Fatherly.

Building in a little extra quiet time for silent reading, listening to soothing music, or even five minutes of family yoga may also help align everyone’s well-being.

Keep Up the Hand Washing

Returning to close quarters with classmates means inevitably some germs will get swapped. Skin conditions, such as warts, molluscum, and rashes may surface. Here are three contagious skin conditions to be on the lookout for:

  • Hand, Foot, and Mouth (HFM): Caused by a highly contagious variation of the coxsackievirus, HFM can include a red rash, pustules, mouth sores, and a low-grade fever. Usually it clears up on its own within 10 days, but over-the-counter children’s pain and fever relievers can provide relief in the meantime.
  • Ringworm: Ringworm is a red, ring-shaped rash caused by a fungus that can live on the skin as well as shared surfaces, such as gym floors and mats. Topical antifungal creams can help fight the infection, but oral antifungal medications may be required to cure it completely.
  • Impetigo: Presenting as red sores on the face, nose area, mouth, hands, and feet, impetigo is another highly contagious infection. An antibiotic ointment can be applied to the sores for several days, though oral antibiotics can also be prescribed.

Vigilant hand washing is one of the best methods to fight contagious skin conditions (along with many other contagious germs).

Listen to How They’re Really Feeling

Truly listening to what’s going on with children can help you both find solutions — and cultivate a deeper relationship together.

“Active Listening is the single most important skill you can have in your parenting ‘toolbelt,’” The Center for Parenting Education advises. This specific form of communicating “lets another person know that you are ‘with them,’ aware of what they are saying, accepting of their perspective, and appreciative of their situation.”

Though it may take some practice, active listening can be done almost anywhere, and can easily fit into your return-to-school routine. 

At SouthCoast Health, we care about your family’s whole wellness. If you need help adjusting, or if new issues have cropped up since a return to school, make an appointment through our website or give us a call at 912-691-3600.

Whether you are looking for a primary care doctor or a pediatrician, or another medical specialist, SouthCoast Health has you covered with its wide range of world-class healthcare services, available throughout the Coastal Empire and Lowcountry. Founded in 1996, SouthCoast Health has 120 physicians and medical professionals in 17 locations in Savannah, Richmond Hill, Pooler, Rincon, Baxley, Hilton Head, Hinesville, and Statesboro. SouthCoast Health offers comprehensive medical services including: Family Medicine, Internal Medicine, Pediatrics, Allergy and Asthma, Cardiology, Endocrinology, Eye Care, Imaging, Infectious Diseases, Nephrology, Neurology, Physical Therapy, Podiatry, Surgery, Clinical Trial Research Studies, Diabetic Self-Management Training Sessions, Dietetic Counseling, Laboratory Services, Massage Therapy, Optical Shop, Pharmacy, and Urgent Care.

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