Patient undergoing physical exam

Staying on Track for Back to School

July 14, 2017 |

Kids back to school

With summer coming to an end, it can be difficult to get back on a school schedule for both children and parents. To see what parents can do to help their children start on the right foot, we sat down and talked with some of our providers and came up with some tips that we hope will help you get back to school with success.

Q. How many hours of sleep should children get?

Tracy Dixon, Behavioral Health Consultant, Gateway Clinic: It depends on the child and their age. Children under 1 may need 20 hours of sleep, but that is also dependent on when growth spurts happen. Sometimes little ones sleep a lot and sometimes they sleep less. It depends on when the brain decides it needs to grow. Five-year olds need at least 10 to 11 hours of sleep a day and that doesn’t drop until the child is around 7 or 8-years old, then they require 9 hours of sleep.

Q. How can parents help children decrease stress before and during school?

Parents should support their child with homework and always ask about their day. Some things parents can ask about include what they learned, who they spent the day with (friends) and what they need help with. Parents should show interest in the child’s schooling and verbally reward them with praise when they succeed.

Tracy Dixson

Q. If you could recommend one thing parents should do before children go back to school, what would it be?

Michelle Byers, Nurse Practitioner, Christown Clinic: I would recommend that parents make sure their children’s vaccines are up to date. If their child has not had their yearly physical (or sports physical if their child is planning to participate in school sports), it is a perfect time to get that done as well. Schools in Arizona are very strict about making sure kids have their vaccinations up to date, and if parents are on top of this before school starts, they don’t have to worry about missing any days of school.

For more information, please email

Michelle Byers