Now that back-to-school is around the corner, you’re probably prepping for the big first day. School supplies? Check. New tennis shoes? Check. Fall clothes? Check. As every mom knows, that preparation makes the chaos of those early days go much smoother. There are a few other ways you can help your children prepare for school that can really help.
Before School Starts
The day before school starts is one of the busiest days at The Urgency Room (UR) because parents bring their kids in with headaches and abdominal pain. Oftentimes, the reason for the pain is nervousness about the upcoming school year.
However, depending on how young your child is, she may not know the difference between a nervous tummy ache and a sick stomachache.
One way to lessen the anxiety your child is feeling is to talk about how nervousness can show up as a physical complaint. When you’re nervous you can get tummy aches and headaches. Let your child know it’s okay to feel that way and it’s normal.
You can also help your child by making sure they’re getting enough sleep. Most of us shift our sleeping habits over the summer when the sun stays up longer, but as school approaches, it’s a good idea to return your child to his school sleep schedule so he’s well-rested and eating a healthy breakfast in the morning. When he has enough sleep and good nutrition, he’ll be better equipped to deal with his anxious feelings.
After School Starts
A month or two after school starts, we see a lot of children come to the UR with abdominal pain and cramping. This is typically caused by constipation. When children head back to school, their entire routine is changed, including their eating habits and the time they typically have a bowel movement. Kids will often hold it all day long and they can get really backed up.
Ask your child if she’s going #2 every day. Let her know how important it is to take care of her body while she’s at school. Sometimes kids will say they’re embarrassed to ask their teacher to go to the bathroom. Just let them know it’s a normal human function and her teacher will understand. Check in with her a few times throughout the week to let her know how important it is to use the bathroom at school.
Having healthy foods at home with plenty of fiber can also really help your child manage the shift in diet that comes with the return to school.
If you prepare your child for the nervousness she might feel and how the schedule shift might affect him, you can really help make the back-to-school transition go well.
When It’s Serious
Parents often ask me, “When should I really worry about abdominal pain in my kids?” If your child holds bowel movements, gets backed up and starts vomiting, then you’ll need to bring your child to the UR right away. If they have a fever with the abdominal pain or any pain that’s just below their belly button on the right side, bring them in immediately.
The Urgency Room (UR) is a state-of-the-art medical facility specializing in the treatment of acute injuries and illnesses in adults, children, and infants. Staffed with board-certified emergency physicians, the UR is prepared to handle it all. If you need immediate medical attention and don’t need an ambulance come to The Urgency Room.