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Agosto 26, 2015

Helping Parents Prepare for Back-to-School

Helping Parents Prepare for Back-to-School
Helping Parents Prepare for Back-to-School

As summer winds down, kids across the country are preparing to go back to school once again. Whether it’s your child’s first day of preschool or fifth grade, there’s a lot to do to prepare for the year ahead, and it’s especially important to ensure your kids are healthy before the school year starts. understands how overwhelming back-to-school preparation can be for parents, so we’ve compiled some helpful tips and benefit information below to help parents manage their to-do lists.

According to the U.S. Department of Education (ED), a child’s health and nutrition are two of the most important considerations for a successful education. The U.S. Department of Education encourages the following tips:

  • Send your child to school with a backpack that weighs less than 10 to 20 percent of their body weight. A heavier bag can lead to long-term muscle and joint problems.  Specifically, you can ensure your child uses both straps of the bag and tightens them so that it hangs close to their body.
  • Start the day with a healthy, high-protein breakfast each morning. Eggs, peanut butter and other nut butters and yogurt-based smoothies are all good, low-cost food options.

In addition to ED’s tips, remember to consider the following:

  • Most schools require vaccinations and immunizations to be up to date before the first day of school. Schedule a routine physical for your child prior to their first day back.
  • If you’re not sure which vaccinations your state or school system requires, search by state using the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Vaccination Requirement Reports.

State Children’s Health Insurance

The State Children’s Health Insurance (SCHIP) program provides health coverage to uninsured children whose families earn too much to qualify for Medicaid but too little to afford private coverage. All states provide immunizations at no cost and may cover much more. To learn more about this program, visit the SCHIP program page.  To see what SCHIP covers in your state, visit the SCHIP State Selection page.

Special Milk Program

The Special Milk Program (SMP) provides milk to children in schools and non-profit residential childcare institutions that do not participate in other Federal child nutrition meal service programs. Schools in the National School Lunch and Breakfast programs may also participate in the SMP to provide milk to children in half-day pre-kindergarten and kindergarten programs where children do not have access to the school meal programs. The program reimburses institutions for the milk they serve. For more information on program requirements and how to apply, visit the Special Milk Program page.

For month-by-month tips, check out ED's Countdown to School Success toolkit. To read more about school readiness, read our article Back-to-School? Start Smart with Resources from also encourages you to take the Benefit Finder questionnaire to find other benefit programs that can help you and your family throughout the school year.

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Manténgase conectado para obtener noticias importantes y actualizaciones sobre los beneficios federales para los que podría ser elegible de recibir (en inglés).