Article at a Glance

  • Make sure your child is up-to-date on immunizations.
  • Notify your school of any special medical needs.
  • Plan ahead for healthy lunches.
  • Set a schedule that allows for a healthy amount of sleep, nutritious meals, and time for homework and play.

Already stressing about the first day of school? We’ve put together a little list to help you and your child prepare for the big day.

  • Make sure your child is enrolled and that you have filled out any emergency contact sheets.
  • Find out which day school starts and when the school day starts and ends.
  • Make sure your child is up-to-date on immunizations. In Utah, kindergarteners and 7th graders have to be up to date on their immunizations before they can start school. Scheduling an appointment early can help you beat the rush in August.
  • Notify your school if your child has any special medical conditions or needs. For example, if your child needs to take medication during the school day or if they need special monitoring for things like diabetes or asthma.
  • Plan on attending any back-to-school events so that you can get to know your child’s teacher. Developing a positive relationship with your child’s teacher can go a long way in helping your child during the school year.
  • Look into ways you can volunteer. Studies show that when parents are involved students do better in school.
  • Find out from your child’s teacher about what supplies are needed.
  • Decide how you want to handle lunches. If your child will be eating a school lunch, make sure the staff is aware of any food allergies. Find out what kinds of foods your school will be offering or plan some healthy options you can prepare from home. Check to see if your school has any guidelines about what kind of foods your child can bring to school.
  • Plan a practice day right before school starts. Practice getting ready for school and arriving on time. This will help you work out any bugs in your schedule and help your children know what to expect that first day. It is also a great way to work out some of those back-to-school jitters.
  • Make any after-school arrangements or carpool plans if needed.
  • Review your family’s time commitments during the school year and evaluate if there are areas where you may need to scale back to prevent over scheduling.
  • Talk to your children and find out how they feel about the upcoming school year. Plan ahead for ways that you can help them work through any of their concerns. The first day of school is stressful for everybody, but even more so for children who are starting at a new school. Read more on tips on how to handle stress, bullying, and shyness.
  • Make a schedule for going to bed on time, waking up, eating healthy meals, doing homework, and any other extracurricular activities.
  • Take time to discuss back-to-school safety with your children, including how to get to and from school safely.
  • Consider starting a family tradition that celebrates the start of the school year. For example a picnic at the park or putting together a family time capsule that you can open up next year. Traditions can provide children with important transitions and give them something to look forward to.
Share this article:

Back-to-School Checklist

Stay connected to your children’s health:

Want pediatric news, kid-friendly recipes and parenting tips?
Sign up for our patient parent newsletter:

Other great ways to connect: