Healthy sleeping patterns, uniform sorted – are your children ready for return to school next month?
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Public health chiefs in Suffolk are urging families to make sure their children are ready for the return of school in September after months away from the classroom during the coronavirus lockdown.
The new term in September represents the first appearance in school since March for many pupils across the county, prompting OneLife Suffolk and Public Health Suffolk to launch a new project.
The scheme – called Back to School, Back to Health – is encouraging families to think about the changes in their routine and life during lockdown and urge them to keep positive habits while making sure children are ready for things such as wearing school uniform and getting up earlier again.
A series of challenges have been created including children keeping a sleep diary to ensure their sleeping habits are healthy, trying new healthy foods, writing a letter to a loved one struggling through the pandemic and going on extra walks.
Dr Sophie Edwards, clinical health psychologist with OneLife Suffolk, said: “After such a long and unprecedented lockdown, it’s really important to think about some of the habits we’ve developed during this time.
“Some of these will be positive habits we want to continue, and some may have helped us get through lockdown but are not good for our health and wellbeing long term.
“These challenges will hopefully encourage and inspire families in the county to improve their mental and physical health.”
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It has been acknowledged that lockdown will have been a vastly different experience for individual families, and while some will have adapted well others may have struggled more.
It means that traditional school routines such as getting up earlier to travel to school instead of the kitchen dining table to work, wearing school uniform and preparing a packed lunch, may have fallen by the wayside.
Suffolk County Council’s cabinet member for public health, James Reeder, said: “Staying at home for several months may have made us less active, or encouraged us to reach for comfort foods a little more often.
“These ten challenges will help children and their families get back into a routine which will ultimately improve wellbeing, sleep and energy levels.”
Families which complete all 10 challenges can also be in with a chance of winning a FitBIt for each member of their family.