Back-to-School Checklist


The days leading up to a new school year bring excitement for some students, parents and guardians, but also can be a source of stress and anxiety. When feeling anxious, Nebraska’s Chief Medical Officer (CMO) suggests the following actions as the first day of school nears. “Know that these sensations are normal, and that steps can be taken to mitigate them,” said Dr. Tim Tesmer, CMO. The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) provides the following actions to set-up your family for success:

  • Schedule yearly physicals, immunizations and communicate with your child’s teacher or school nurse about necessary medications.
  • Stock up on school supplies.
  • Ease back into sleep schedules to avoid exhaustion at school. Elementary-aged kids should get 10-12 hours of sleep a night, while teenagers need eight and a half to nine and a half hours.
  • Create a quiet workspace for homework, projects or reading assignments.
  • If your child is feeling anxious about going back to school, physical activity may help. Exercise can improve focus, mood and judgement.
  • Make sure your child has a reusable water bottle. Staying hydrated can have a positive effect on school performance.
  • Revisit the importance of hand washing at school and in public.
  • Continue to build healthy habits.
  • Mental health plays a role in the way children learn, develop and behave. Have frequent discussions with your child about how they are feeling and why.

“It’s also important to minimize being on your smart phone before bed,” Dr. Tesmer said. “Avoiding a lot of screen time before bed or while you’re in bed helps with having a healthy sleep cycle.” If you have questions about which immunizations your child needs, contact your health provider or visit