With children across the county returning to school NHS Shropshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and NHS Telford and Wrekin CCG have some advice for parents on how to help with their mental state.
The return to school can be a great source of stress and anxiety for children, with the change of routine and lifestyle proving a challenge to many young people’s mental health. However, there are several steps that parents can take to help build mental resilience within their children.
Here are some tips to ease back-to-school anxiety:
· Little steps like buying new stationery and school uniforms will have already given your children the chance to get excited about going back to school
· With the start of a new school year, now is the time to help your child to have a healthy diet. The right diet has a big impact on their energy levels and can impact on their success at school
· Let your child know that it’s okay to be nervous on their first day back. They’ll appreciate it
· Book them in for an eye test. Being able to see the board easily will make lessons far more enjoyable
Dr Julian Povey, Chair of Shropshire CCG, said: “There are lots of ways that parents can help their children return to school and reduce the levels of anxiety they might be experiencing.
“With a new school routine, now is the ideal time to support your child to have a healthy diet. This will help improve their energy levels throughout the school day and can impact on their success at school.”
If you are worried about your child’s mental health, there are a range of services available locally that can offer counselling and support. To find out more visit the SSSFT website.
As well as their mental health, flu is also something to think about. It affects hundreds of thousands of people every year and generally, it is a mild or unpleasant illness. However, in young children, or those with underlying health conditions like asthma, flu can be very serious.
As such, parents are being encouraged to protect their children against flu this winter. Immunisation is available to a large number of children:
· Children aged two and three on 31 August 2017 – that is, children born between 1 September 2013 and 31 August 2015
· Children in reception class and school years one, two, three and four
· Children aged 2 to 17 with long-term health conditions.
For children the vaccine is given by a nasal spray rather than an injection, so it’s more child-friendly, reducing a lot of anxiety.
Dr Jo Leahy, Chair of NHS Telford and Wrekin CCG, said: “On your back to school checklist it’s also important to book routine health appointments, to give your child the best start to the new school year.
“All children should receive a regular eye test, in case they need glasses in the long run. Most children under 16 qualify for an NHS voucher, entitling them to a free eye test, so it is helpful to book an appointment.
“Your GP or child’s school will very likely contact you about getting your child a free flu vaccination, but, if you have not heard from them by November, then you should contact them directly and arrange an appointment.
“If your child catches the flu, they will normally experience a mild or at worst unpleasant illness, but in some cases, such as in young children, flu can pose a much greater risk. The more children who receive a vaccination, the safer it is for everyone”
If you or your children are suffering from symptoms of the flu and you are concerned about it, call NHS 111. The phone service is free and available 24/7, offering advice about what to do next or where to go to get further assessment and treatment.