Tips for kids to start the school year on a healthy note

SUNBURY — The school year is right around the corner in most places, and has already begun is some.  Dr Allison Schuessler, a pediatrician at Geisinger, has several tips for kicking off the school year in a healthy way.

One of the biggest issues for kids during the school year is getting the right amount of sleep. Dr Schuessler says the amount of sleep a kid might need varies, starting with 5-10 year olds, “We’re looking more like 9-12 hours, not significantly less than your pre-schoolers. Pre-teen to teenagers should be getting anywhere from 8-10 hours of sleep, so still a little bit more than the 8 hours we classically think of for adults.”

Dr Schuessler says sleep is important for everyone, but especially for kids, “Sleep is particularly important for a young and growing brain. It helps with memory, it helps with learning. So these kids who are spending a full day in school and working hard on their homework, but if they are not getting good sleep at night they might still be struggling in school and with their activities.”

With small pockets of measles outbreaks in the US over the past year, and vaccinations being a hot topic among young parents, Dr Schuessler says you should vaccinate your kids, “It’s important that kids get vaccinated. The State of Pennsylvania has pretty stringent vaccine requirements for certain age groups. Your pediatrician can talk to you about that and make sure your child is up to date.”

You can hear the entire interview with Dr Schuessler on WKOK’s podcast page at

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