Doctors suggest tips on getting children into school day routines

Erika Sander is getting ready to send her 6-year-old daughter Adelaide to first grade.

“We just met her teacher yesterday,” Sanders told ABC 27 News. “We practiced the drive to school.”

With the school year rapidly approaching, Sanders knows it’s time to gear up for the school routine again.

“The kids start going to bed earlier and start waking up earlier,” Sanders said.

A majority of Midstate students will be back in school next week. Experts with Lancaster General Health/Penn Medicine suggest a week before the first day of school is the best time to get children back into school day routines.

“Routine always allays anxiety for all of us, but especially for kids,” Dr. Christine Stabler, the Vice President of Academic Affairs for Lancaster General Health / Penn Medicine, said.

Dr. Stabler recommended parents start the school day routine at least a week from the actual first day of school.

“Incrementally is probably best to tell a kid who is used to being up until midnight that he now has to go bed at 8 o’clock,” Stabler told ABC 27 News. “I think day by day, moving back an hour a day so that they’re hitting a school based bed time within the framework you allotted.”

Dr. Stabler said children need at least eight hours of sleep, if not more.

The child expert also suggested that as school days approach students should use their electronic devices less and less, which should help study habits.

“They really need to have that time that’s protected,” Stabler said.

Dr. Stabler also stressed that children should eat a well-balanced breakfast every day before school starts.

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