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School nurse offers tips to keep students healthy, comfortable -

CONTRIBUTED GRAPHIC - Students need more sleep that most people think, according to these recommendations by the American Academy of Pediatrics. It’s time for children to go back to school and time for parents and caregivers to review the curriculum for a healthy school year.

A basic requirement for a successful school year is that students get plenty of sleep, said Patti Moro, a school nurse with the Multnomah Educational Services District.

“Think about establishing some routines around bedtime,” she said, suggesting, keeping the house quiet, turning off electronic devices, maybe a warm bath and a story for younger students.

“Nutrition is huge too,” she added. It is important for students to eat wholesome foods and begin the day with a healthy breakfast. “Lots of schools offer free breakfast and lunch,” and busy parents can rely on those during the school year.

The American Academy of Pediatrics said studies show that children who eat a nutritious breakfast do better in school and have better concentration and more energy.

CONTRIBUTED PHOTO - Patti MoroWith all the controversy about lead in the water at some schools, it is important for parents to make sure their students have easy access to pure drinking water during the school day. “Parents need to keep the kids hydrated,” Moro said.

And while we’re on the subject of water, she added, “remind your kids about hand washing, especially before they eat.”

Make sure the child’s vaccinations are up to date. Children missing shots won’t be kept out of school until February, but caregivers might as well get student immunizations now and avoid crowds when the deadline rolls around. A schedule of what shots are needed and at what ages can be found at

If parents don’t have a family doctor and need vaccinations, caregivers can make an appointment with Multnomah County’s Community Immunization Clinic in Portland at 426 S.W. Stark St., third floor. Appointments can be made by calling 503-988-3406 and are available 8:30-11:45 a.m. Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays and from 1-4 p.m. Wednesdays.

If your child needs to take medication during the school day, review school rules on meds and get a sufficient supply of medication so the student is getting the medicine she needs. “The medication must come (to school) in the original container and the parent, not the child, is responsible for transporting the medication to school,” Moro said, adding that if your student hasn’t seen the dentist lately, a dental exam is in order. “If their mouth hurts, it affects their sleep and their ability to concentrate.”

Another important thing is the child’s ability to read the classroom blackboard. If caregivers have any doubts, Moro advises an eye exam for the little scholar.

For extra credit, visit the American Academy of Pediatrics at

It’s important for parents and caregivers to make sure children are healthy for school.

“It keeps kids in school and mom and dad won’t have to take time off work,” Moro said.

SIDEBAR: Adventist offersFrom Sickness to Health”

Television personality and health evangelist Rico Hill leads a free, five-session seminar at Adventist Medical Center based on his show “From Sickness to Health.” The workshops will run from 7- 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 5, through Saturday, Oct. 8, and 2-3:30 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 9. Sessions will feature natural approaches to health designed to inspire folks to live well, mentally, physically and spiritually. The workshops will include food samples and recipes. The series will be held in the medical center’s amphitheater at 10123 S.E. Market St. For more information call 503-256-4000. Register at

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