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I tell parents to remember S-P-I-N to create success for their kids in school. This acronym makes it easy to remember the areas that really impact school performance.

S is for Sleep

School-aged kids should get between 10 and 11 hours of sleep each night. Teenagers need between 8 and 9 hours. If your child gets less sleep, the ability for his brain to learn and store information is lessened. Sports injuries and driving accidents may also be a result of a child not getting enough rest.

P is for Psychological

Attitude can really affect a child’s ability to do well in school. Show your child you believe in his or her abilities. “You are going to do great in seventh grade this year!” “Being in a new classroom is scary for everyone. Pretty soon you will make a new friend and you will know your way around the place.” 

I is for Infection

Preventing infections is key to your child staying healthy and able to be at school to learn. Plain old hand washing with soap and water goes a long way toward preventing the spread of colds. Be sure you also have updated your child’s vaccinations. Each year your child should receive a flu shot to protect against the flu strains that are expected. For healthy children, the flu mist is another alternative. A weakened version of the flu strain is swabbed into the child’s nose – causing the body to create immunity to that strain of flu. 

N is for Nutrition

A good breakfast helps your child stay alert in class, fuels his body to learn and keeps him growing. Breakfast should include a complex carbohydrate and protein. Some kids do not like traditional breakfast foods. Good substitutes can include a turkey sandwich for breakfast or chicken nuggets. 

Greg Severson, MD

Methodist Physicians Clinic HealthWest

Dr. Severson answers your questions about child development and parenting. One of the most gratifying aspects of pediatrics, for Dr. Severson, is watching an infant grow and change into a young adult. He is a natural teacher and he enjoys teaching parents how to provide the best care for their children. Dr. Severson loves kids and he is enriched by his interactions with them every day. He recognizes that children are unique and special. He hopes that his recommendations will help parents m ...

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