School-age handout

Photo by Unsplash Tong Nguyen van


  •         Talk to your child about “private parts” and teach her not to accept “bad touching.”
  •         Teach children to stop at the curb and look both ways before crossing the street.
  •         Start teaching them how to swim. Discuss water safety and ice safety (i.e. no walking on frozen ponds). Teach them never to swim without an adult present.
  •         Practice fire drills.  Check smoke and carbon monoxide monitors regularly.  Identify a safe meeting place outside.
  •         Seat belts for every ride.  Children should be in a booster seat until 4 foot 9 and at least 8 years old. Children should be in the back seat until age 13.
  •         Helmets should be worn every time for riding bikes, scooters, skateboards, skiing and snowboarding.
  •         Keep a child’s environment smoke-free. Second-hand smoke can increase the number of colds and the severity of asthma. Let us know if you want help quitting.
  •         If guns are in the house, they should be unloaded and locked up separately from ammunition. Consider trigger guards.
  •         Supervise online activities. We advise a max of 2 hrs a day of TV/electronics.


  •         Be a role model for a healthy lifestyle.
  •         Encourage regular exercise, and exercise with the kids.   Active kids become active adults.
  •         Help your child brush her teeth every day.
  •         Ensure adequate sleep.
  •         Teach your child to wash her hands after the bathroom and before eating.
  •         Some experts advise checking cholesterol at age 9-11. Discuss with your provider about this option especially if you have a family history of high cholesterol.


  •         Make mealtimes pleasant and friendly. Turn the TV off during meals.  Offer healthy foods and eat them yourself to model good eating habits.
  •         Encourage breakfast as an important meal.
  •         Limit candy, chips, soda, juice, and sweets.
  •         Let your child help plan and prepare meals.


  •   Meet your child’s teachers; keep in touch.  Find out early when there is an issue before it becomes a big problem.
  •  Help your child to be organized.
  • Provide a study space.
  • Use a calendar to help your child remember important dates.
  • Help him organize clothes, homework the night before instead of in the morning.
  • Help your child relax after school.
  • Have some unstructured activities like playing with friends or sports after school.
  • Talk about school each day.
  • Continue to read with your child.
  • Help your child with homework.
  • Be available and encouraging.
  • Set a fixed time each day for homework.


It is important to encourage high self-esteem. This is shaped by messages from parents and other adults.


Parents must be a good role model - Healthy parents produce healthy kids.  Feel good about yourself as a person and a parent.  Try to model confidence, curiosity, and creativity in your own life.

Praise the effort not just the outcome - Acknowledge good effort and improvements.  Congratulate her on a good save or catch in her game, not just when they win.  Be specific with praise. “You did a good job completing your homework today” rather than “you are a good girl”.

Value your child as they are - Realistic expectations lead to successes which lead to building high self-esteem.   If you have overly high expectations of your child, you may be setting him up for failure.  Even children who do well still need praise; don't take the successes for granted.

Acknowledge the fact that children are different - Do not compare your children with each other or other children.

Avoid negative comments - Never call your child stupid, lazy or a bad person.   Say “It was wrong to throw the glasses on the floor” not “ You are a bad child.”

Show confidence in your children’s abilities. Build on their strengths.

Encourage independence.




  •         Food Assistance WIC 1-800-WIC-1007 and SNAP
  •         CDC Vaccine Page
  • Site by pediatricians about a variety of health topics
  •         App: Pediatric Symptom MD – a variety of pediatric advice
  •         The Picky Eater Project. N. D. Muth
  •         Chop Chop: the kid’s guide to cooking real food with you. S Sampson. (Also a magazine)
  • Parenting and discipline modules for a minimal fee.
  •         Domestic Violence Hotline 800-799-SAFE (7233)

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