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Back To Reality: How To Get Kids Ready For Back-to-School

3 minute read

Going back to school is a huge transition for kids of any age. So the best way to prepare them for the first day back to school (and to lower your own stress levels), is to plan ahead!

We’ve got some helpful tips for staying positive and calm as summer comes to a close and those back-to-school tasks start to pile up.

Do your research

Find out ahead of time if your child will have a specific dress code and check school websites for orientation dates or “meet the teacher” nights. Familiarizing your child with his or her teacher and school is a great way to get them feeling comfortable around them. Here are some easy steps you can take: 1. Print out the teacher’s picture and keep it next to other school planning materials your child will see each day. 2. Talk to your child about all the fun activities their teacher will have planned for them. 3. Take your child to the school they’ll be attending to show them where you’ll drop them off each day.

Be prepared

Shopping for your children’s school supply list early lessens anxiety for both child and parents. Tax free weekend (check to see if your state has one) is the perfect time to stock up. Let your children help with shopping so there’s more excitement when it comes to all the fun learning tools they will be using during the upcoming year. Have them pack their backpacks and pick their outfits the night before so everything will be ready to go in the morning. This is a great system to implement the whole year to teach your child independence and responsibility.

It’s also a great idea to sit down with your child—especially younger children—the night before they go back to school and walk them through what that first day will look like so they can be as mentally prepared as possible.

Practice routines

Summer can create some pretty bad habits when it comes to sleeping and eating for the whole family.

At least one week before your child heads back school, make sure your they are going to bed earlier and waking up at the same time they will need to wake up for school. This will help them and you get back into a solid sleep routine so that everyone is guaranteed a good night’s sleep.

It can also be helpful to start eating breakfast, lunch, and dinner at the same time they will be eating those meals once they go back to school. This will help transition their bodies back to three regular meals as opposed to all day grazing that can become the norm over the summer months.

Another great practice is to let kids help with packing their lunches for the next day after dinner every night. Bentgo has great options for making kids’ lunches fun and organized. You could start this a couple days before the start of school and enjoy some picnic lunches at the park to celebrate the last few days of summer.

Focus their minds

It’s common for kids to forget some of the things they learned the previous year over the course of summer vacation. (Known as “summer learning loss.”)

To help with this, you don’t need to play school with them at home and practice flash cards, give spelling tests, or assign homework. But a simple yet impactful step you can take is to read with them or to them. Reading to your child or giving them the set time to read quietly every day can make a huge difference. If that is something your family already does, try and switch it up with some trips to the library so the kids are presented with new book options. It also gives them a chance to practice inside voices and good body basics that tend to go out the window during the craziness of summer vacation.

experiments

AA Homepage Articles | Family |

Family Learning: Child Friendly Experiments For Staying Healthy

2 minute read

There has never been a more critical time to teach children the importance of keeping their germs to themselves. But more than simply telling children they need to wash their hands and wear a mask, you can have a real impact by showing them in enjoyable experiments what germs are and how they spread.

Staying Healthy Experiments For Kids

Glitter, Glitter, Everywhere

In this experiment, glitter is used to represent our germs and how they spread from one thing to another throughout our day if we don’t wash our hands.

Most parents already know that glitter is difficult to get off, which reinforces the importance of washing hands for at least 20 seconds to thoroughly remove harmful germs.

Make A Wish

Typically you want to blow out all the candles on your birthday cake or it means your wish won’t come true. But with this experiment, the more candles left burning, the better!

Everyone’s favorite science guy, Bill Nye, showed how this experiment works in a short video. By trying to blow out the candles through various types of materials, kids can see how some are more effective than others. And it serves as a reminder that masks are an important part of reducing the spread of germs when we cough, sneeze, spit or breathe too close to someone else.

Come Out, Come Out, Wherever You Are

It can be a hard concept for young children to understand: There are things in the air that we can’t see that can make us sneeze, cause food to go bad, or make us very sick.

With a few simple household items in this experiment, you can help shed some light on the mystery and reinforce the lessons you’re trying to teach kids about staying healthy. This particular experiment focuses on air quality, which is important to keep in mind at home, in school, and wherever kids venture off to.

Goals For Kids

All these experiments share common learning objectives.

The goals are for kids to:

  • Understand what germs are
  • Know that germs are everywhere (the air, our hands, surfaces we touch), but are too small to see with our eyes
  • Understand that everyone has germs and some germs make people sick
  • Understand that washing hands, wearing masks, and keeping our hands out of our mouths, eyes, and noses will help reduce the spread of germs

 

 

AA Homepage Articles | News |

Experiencing the Fight For Air Climb

2 minute read

Before the Fight For Air Climb

Entering the US Bank Center for the American Lung Association’s Fight For Air Climb was a rush of energy.

This seemed less like an arduous trek up 1,000 stairs and more of an indoor festival. There were volunteers ready to greet you and pump you up for the ensuing climb and people from different companies sitting at tables ready to hand out souvenirs.

They were probably also there to distract you after you just got done instinctively looking up toward the top of the 47-story US Bank Center in downtown Milwaukee becoming a little uneasy at the prospect of your journey upward.

Before you made your climb, you gathered as a team and took several escalators down to the basement level before getting warmed up with a quick aerobic routine. Then you took a long and winding tunnel where you greeted by more volunteers who were cheering you on. It was hard not to feel inspired and excited.

During the Fight For Air Climb

One-by-one people took off up toward the top of the US Bank Center to begin their Fight For Air Climb. I, like most, started off confidently and quickly. I took the first six flights easily, but then by flight eight, I began to fight for air. I now understand why they title this climb just that. My mind and my body were at odds. I couldn’t decide whether I wanted to continue at the same pace to get it over with as quickly as possible or to slow down and feel better. I went with the former.

Everyone in the stairwell was trudging onward with the same dilemma. We all were gasping for air as we kept pushing up each step and each flight toward the top of the Fight For Air Climb. At several points, I wondered if I was actually making any progress.

Every 10 flights there was a group of volunteers handing out cups of water and words of encouragement. Both were sorely needed to help push me along.

With each passing flight, I kept a tally of how many flights I had left. Twenty flights down, 27 more flights to go; 30 flights down, 17 flights to go; Ok, 40 flights down, 7 to go. By the time I got to the 40th floor, I knew I could make the last push to make it to the top of my Fight For Air Climb journey.

After the Fight For Air Climb

Eventually, I reached the top after 9 minutes and 31 seconds. At the top of the stairwell, I was met by volunteers who were cheering me on and by other climbers who were also catching their breath and taking in the picturesque views of Milwaukee and Lake Michigan afforded to us by the tallest building in Wisconsin.

As I grabbed a water and walked around soaking in both the views of the city and my accomplishment, it was really cool to watch teams taking pictures together or greeting other climbers with high-fives and smiles. There was a certain camaraderie found in a common struggle.

Despite the lingering soreness, I cannot wait for next year’s climb. No matter if I beat my time from this year or not, it’s about fighting for air together and helping those impacted with lung disease.

To join an upcoming climb in a city near you, visit www.lung.org/aprilaire.

Healthy Air | News |

Aprilaire Partner Contractor Joins Fight For Air Climb

2 minute read

“What can you do or say when your family is suffering such losses? It’s devastating,” said Christopher Ciongoli, HVAC salesman/estimator with Aprilaire partner Whalen & Ives.

Chris is participating in the NYC American Lung Association Fight For Air Climb on April 4, 2020. When he heard that Aprilaire was the national Healthy Air sponsor of the event he signed on to the Aprilaire team.

“An opportunity to make difference just appeared to me on Jan 10th in an email from Aprilaire informing me about the Fight for Air Climb. This was it. This is how I would help make a difference and support my wife as well as so many others that are impacted by lung disease”.

Lung disease became an all too familiar fixture in Chris’s life last year when his brother-in-law, mother-in-law, and father-in-law all died from lung disease.

As of February 7, he’s raised 90 percent of his fundraising goal. Not only is Chris excited to help raise funds and awareness, he told us he’s already reaping the benefits of training for the 849-step climb.

“My blood pressure has dropped, my pants are getting loose, and my dog Crosby is getting back in shape too!”

Every morning he goes out with dog Crosby and strengthens his legs and increases his stamina to make sure he can make it to the 44th floor of the 1290 Avenue of Americas building in New York City.

Read more of Chris’s incredible journey by going to his page. Thank you for your efforts, Chris and we cannot wait to hear more.

For more information about the Fight For Air Climb and to find an event in your area, go to https://www.lung.org/aprilaire. To learn how to train for your own climb, head to our page where we share training tips to help you prepare for your own Fight For Air Climb.

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