Talk back to school with Trinity Health IHA Medical Group Pediatrics in Chelsea

Back to school time, there is always a lot to think about for students and families: getting ready, getting back to feeling good and healthy, and what to have for lunch.

Looking specifically at health and what it means during this time, The Sun Times News (STN) reached out to Dr. Emily Hung, Pediatrics at Trinity Health IHA Medical Group, Chelsea, to share her back-to-school health-related questions. did

First, what are some basic health tips for getting ready for the new school year?

Dr. Hung: Getting ready to go back to school can be physically and emotionally stressful for children and parents, so being prepared is the best way to make things easier.

Maintaining a good and healthy lifestyle is important for maintaining physical health. Take care of your eating habits, drinking habits, sleep habits, and exercise habits. Not only does this help your child feel better, but having a healthy body also helps prevent illness.

  • Make sure your child eats regular, healthy meals and has a proper meal schedule. Incorporate as many fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and healthy proteins as possible. Aim for three moderately sized meals and one to two snacks per day.
  • Encourage your child to drink plenty of fluids throughout the day and avoid caffeine. Dehydration can cause sluggishness, dizziness, and headaches.
  • Ensure a proper sleep schedule and lifestyle. Most school-age children need 8-11 hours of sleep at night (young children need 9-11 hours, older children need at least 8-9 hours).
  • Regular activity will help your child stay strong and maintain a healthy weight. In addition, exercise improves mental health by making you feel better physically and also releasing mood-boosting endorphins.

From an emotional perspective, it is important that children feel comfortable in the school environment ahead and have the confidence that they can manage the school tasks and class schedules that are expected to be maintained.

  • Try to balance the time needed for your child’s homework with scheduled after-school activities.
  • For older children, make sure class loads are appropriate.
  • Save time for relaxation and social activities with friends and family.
  • Eating dinner together as a family is an important way for parents and children to stay connected.
  • Assess stress and anxiety levels throughout the year. Provide emotional and academic support as needed. Help children discuss their concerns. If there are obstacles or stressors, we will help you solve the problem.
  • Consider seeking help from a counselor (school or community) if needed..
Dr. Emily Hung.Photo credit: Trinity Health IHA Medical Group Pediatrics in Chelsea

STN thought about the various diseases that may be prevalent today and asked Hung if there were any health concerns for his family to take note of.

Dr. Hung: Fortunately, most common illnesses are at low levels during the summer. However, these usually recover soon after school starts. The most common autumn epidemics are viral upper respiratory diseases (colds), strep throat, and gastroenteritis (gastroenteritis). Flu usually increases around November, December and he is very prevalent in January. To prevent influenza, be sure to get a flu vaccination in early autumn. Also, the new coronavirus could continue to spread, and even more if everyone goes back to school.

In addition to common medical ailments, mental illness has also increased dramatically. Many children suffer from depression, anxiety and eating disorders. Decreased sociability and increased isolation, increased irritability, difficulty sleeping, eating irregularly or undereating, and unexpected weight loss are symptoms that may be signs of mental illness. Be aware of these health issues as well, and be sure to contact your doctor if you have any concerns.

This leads to the basic question of when is a child’s check-up necessary?

Doctor. Mr. Hung: Regular visits to children are an important part of preventive care. Regular visits are recommended according to the schedule established by the American Academy of Pediatrics. For young children (before school age), this begins at birth, 2-4 weeks, 2 months, 4 months, 6 months, 9 months, 12 months, 15 months, 18 months, 24 months, 30 months, 3 years, and four years.

Once your child reaches school age, we recommend an annual Well Child Visit.

STN asked Hung for advice on getting back to normal life.

Dr. Hung: If possible, start getting back into good habits well before school starts. Of particular importance is making sure your child goes to bed early enough so that he or she gets 8-11 hours of sleep, even if school requires them to wake up early.

If your child sleeps and wakes up much later than usual during the summer, start moving your bedtime forward by 15-20 minutes each night until he goes to bed at the time he needs to go to school.

At home, eat at regular times and avoid snacking too much throughout the day. Please check the pick-up times and procedures and review them in advance with your children.

Prepare and pack school supplies at least 1-2 days before school starts. Check out what kids need to remember to pack in their backpacks every day.

The final question was, what do you need for a healthy lunch?

Dr. Hung: A healthy lunch should include a balanced diet. Packing or choosing a wide variety of foods (if you eat a hot lunch) is important, preferably from all food groups. Try to include at least one fruit or vegetable, or even better, both in every meal. Choose a combination of foods that contain carbs, protein and healthy fats. Good options include meat or peanut butter and jelly sandwiches on whole grain bread, cheese and crackers, hard-boiled eggs, trail mix or granola bars with nuts and seeds, yogurt with fruit (must be packed with ice). ), etc. pack), or pita and hummus. Reheating leftovers or hearty soups and filling them in a thermos is also a great option.

STN would like to thank Dr. Heung for his assistance in producing this article. Chelsea’s Trinity Health IHA Medical Group Pediatrics is located at 14288 E. Old US 12, Suite 100. Call 734-475-9175 or visit


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