Dr Anderson offers tips for new school term
August 24, 2010
Dr Anderson offers tips for new school term

As the new academic year approaches, veteran paediatrician Dr. Christian Anderson is offering tips to parents that can be utilized in preparing their children for the challenge before them.{{more}}

A paediatrician for more than 25 years, Anderson in a recent interview with SEARCHLIGHT emphasized the importance of road safety for children entering school for the first time.

“Road safety is paramount,” said the doctor, who operates Andersons Medical Clinic along with his wife, Dr. Lenoir Anderson.

He said, in the past, paediatricians here faced numerous incidents where children were injured in vehicular accidents to and from school.

To avoid such occurrences, children should be supervised when crossing the road.

Equally, drivers are encouraged to look out for children, said Anderson.

Entering a new school for the first time, Anderson said students will naturally be entering a new environment which can create some challenges. Some schools have made a step towards addressing the situation by having an orientation.

“Subsequent to that, we first of all must realize the kids will be left on their own for seven hours of the day and will want to be around their parents,” said Anderson. “That is traumatising for children,” he remarked. He, however, suggested that children must be encouraged to have a certain level of discipline that will help them to operate without their parents.

As a priority, children should have “three square meals a day”, Anderson pointed out. He warned that children should also avoid eating junk food, but should have an adequate supply of iron as well as a good night’s rest. On this note, Anderson said children should have a set hour when they go to bed.

Another important issue that he discussed related to the need to have children’s eyes tested. Their performance in school may fall if they are having problems with their eyes, Anderson emphasized.

Anderson used the opportunity to tell parents to encourage their children to be on guard of peer pressure at their schools.

“If they don’t have a strong sense of right and wrong they can be misled by friends,” he stated.

He suggested that parents should get to know who their children’s friends are “so they know that they are not keeping bad company.” This, however, does not mean that parents should not encourage their children to have proper social interaction with their peers, said Anderson.

On another note, he said long before children enter school the habit of reading should be established.

Parents should also encourage their children to get involved in activities that are not straight academics such as drama, dancing and hiking, Anderson advised.

Another tip given by Anderson, relates to the amount of time children spend watching television. He said there should be limits where this is concerned. “I believe two hours a day should be a reasonable limit,” said Anderson, adding when they look at television, educational programmes are most appropriate.

On the issue of children becoming susceptible to certain types of diseases in their communal environments at school, Anderson said: “As children get together there are increases in some diseases such as colds, wheezing, vomiting and ring worms on the skin and head. The ring worms are quite common and spread easily from person to person.”

The paediatrician suggested that parents should keep their children at home when they observe that they have been infected.

“Strict surveillance should be done,” said Anderson.

Anderson, in parting, advised that parents should ensure that their children’s vaccinations are up to date before they return to school.