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Tips for a Safe, Healthy & Happy School Year
August 2023 | Issue 236
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Walking and bike riding are healthy ways to get to and from school. Skipping the school drop-off traffic for more active commutes can contribute to the recommended 60 minutes of physical activity kids need each day. Plus, trips powered by feet, rather than gas-fueled vehicles, also can reduce air pollution and help the climate.

Read this article by pediatrician Phyllis Agran, MD, FAAP for ways to keep your child safe as they walk or bike to school. It includes a story shared by Maria Frias, who joined with other parents to advocate for child pedestrian safety after seeing her son nearly hit by a car on his way to school. 

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With kids heading back to school, here are the top five ways you can help them stay healthy, be happy and thrive in class. If your child has special health needs, be sure to read these helpful tips, too!

  Playful Reading  
Like all the best kinds of play, reading with your child exercises their imagination, curiosity and sense of adventure. It also strengthens parent-child bonds and communication skills. 
One way to make reading even more fun: After reading a story, encourage your child to act out scenes using their imagination or props. Or, pair the story with a related craft or activity to engage in a hands-on way. If the book features animals, for example, create paper plate masks or finger puppets. If the book mentions food, try cooking a recipe related to the story.
Find more tips in this month's Power of Play article, Playful Reading: 4 Ways to Engage Your Child in the Magical World of Books. Find free back-to-school printable play sheets here.
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