Now that schools are almost back in session, the backpacks are filling up quickly with No. 2 pencils, stacks of ruled paper and folders in every color of the rainbow. While many students feel excited to start school this year, some parents may be feeling a bit more trepidatious than usual. Here we have a list of health guidelines to make it easier to navigate the school year so you can keep your students safe and healthy.

Get your zzz
Want your student to perform well at school? Make sure they are getting enough sleep.

The current recommendation for kids ages 6 to 12 years old is 9 to 12 hours of sleep per night. Teens between 13 to 18 years of age do well with 8 to 10 hours each night, according to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine.

Play sports safely
School sports bring many rewards to both students and parents who watch their games. Should your child take a blow to the head, know what to look for if you suspect a concussion. Common symptoms include headache, nausea, balance issues or dizziness, double or blurred vision, sluggish, grogginess or confusion, and difficulty concentrating. Be prepared to take your child to the doctor if you suspect a concussion.

Salud Family Clinics provides medical, pediatric, dental, pharmacy, and behavioral health services to Colorado families. Salud offers 13 locations in the state – including an office in Longmont. They provide video conferencing appointments so their team of doctors can answer your questions without you leaving your home. Visit or call 303.697.2583.

Up to date on vaccinations
For some families, the topic of vaccinations comes with mixed reviews. Vaccinations help children build immunity, something that protects your child and those around them. Colorado state law requires that all K-12 and preschool students are vaccinated against certain diseases. Visit

Parents who prefer not to vaccinate their kiddos can file an exemption with the state. If you have questions or concerns about vaccinations, consider talking to your child’s pediatrician or a healthcare professional at the health department.

Healthy lunches
Practicing good nutrition is one of the best ways we can take care of our bodies. Each family has their own set of healthy foods when it comes to meal time. Most dietitians recommend limiting sugar and processed foods. Also include a variety of foods like lean proteins, veggies, fruits, grains and dairy, according to dietary guidelines for Americans, on the Mayo Clinic website.

By Elise Oberliesen, for Raised in the Rockies