Back To School Sleeping Tips!

Back To School Sleeping Tips!

In the whirlwind of modern life, where activities, responsibilities, and distractions abound, one fundamental aspect often gets neglected – sleep. Sleep is not just a passive state of rest; it plays a pivotal role in the physical, mental, and emotional development of school-aged children. The significance of quality sleep cannot be overstated, as it is the foundation upon which a child’s well-being and academic success are built.

Sleep is of utmost importance for school-aged children and it directly influences their growth and performance. A well-rested mind is more attentive and alert, which directly impacts a child’s ability to focus and absorb information in the classroom. Sleep deprivation, on the other hand, impairs concentration, memory retrieval, and problem-solving skills. Students who consistently get adequate sleep are better prepared to engage in class discussions, complete assignments, and excel in exams.

How much sleep does your child need?

The American Academy of Pediatrics provide some helpful guidelines on how much sleep your child needs:

  • Infants– 12-16 hours of sleep including naps
  • Toddlers– 11-14 hours including naps
  • Preschoolers– 10-13 hours including naps
  • Gradeschoolers– 9-12 hours
  • Teenagers– 8-10 hours

Sleep and Cognitive Development in Kids

Sleep is like a backstage crew working tirelessly to set the stage for optimal cognitive development. During slumber, the brain consolidates the day’s learning experiences, helping children retain information and form memories. This is particularly crucial for school-aged children who are constantly acquiring new knowledge and skills. Sleep enhances attention, creativity, problem-solving abilities, and critical thinking – all vital components of academic success.

Emotional Regulation

Adequate sleep is intricately tied to emotional well-being. Sleep deficiency can lead to irritability, mood swings, and an increased likelihood of developing emotional disorders. School-aged children who enjoy sufficient sleep are better equipped to handle stress, manage their emotions, and interact positively with peers and teachers. By nurturing emotional resilience, sleep contributes to a healthy school environment that fosters positive relationships and effective communication.

How Sleep Can Affect Physical Growth

Sleep is the body’s natural growth accelerator. During the deep sleep stages, growth hormone secretion peaks, aiding in the development of muscles, bones, and tissues. For school-aged children, who experience rapid growth, adequate sleep is essential to ensure they reach their full physical potential. Additionally, sleep plays a pivotal role in boosting the immune system, reducing the risk of illnesses, and promoting overall health.

Back to School Sleep Tips

It’s crucial to establish healthy sleep habits that promote cognitive growth, emotional well-being, and academic success. We want to share some practical sleep tips designed to help parents and caregivers ensure that their children get the sleep they need for optimal growth and performance.

1. Consistent Sleep Schedule- Maintaining a consistent sleep schedule is a cornerstone of healthy sleep habits. Encourage your child to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, even on weekends. This helps regulate their internal body clock, making it easier to fall asleep and wake up naturally. Establish a consistent sleep routine a week before school starts. Gradually adjust bedtime and wake-up time to align with the school schedule. This will make the first days of school much easier as your body will already be accustomed to the new sleep pattern.

2. Create a Relaxing Bedtime Routine- Establishing a calming bedtime routine can signal to your child’s body that it’s time to wind down. Activities like reading a book, taking a warm bath, or practicing gentle stretches can help create a relaxing transition from the busyness of the day to the calm of sleep.

3. Limit Screen Time Before Bed- The blue light emitted by screens (phones, tablets, TVs) can interfere with the production of the sleep-inducing hormone melatonin. Aim to limit screen time at least an hour before bedtime to allow your child’s body to prepare for sleep.

4. Comfortable Sleep Environment- Ensure that your child’s sleep environment is comfortable and conducive to rest. The room should be dark, quiet, and at a comfortable temperature. Investing in a supportive mattress and cozy bedding can also make a big difference.

5. Watch their Diet- Avoid giving your child heavy meals, caffeine, or sugary foods close to bedtime. These can disrupt sleep and make it harder for them to fall asleep and stay asleep.

6. Encourage Physical Activity- Regular physical activity during the day can contribute to better sleep at night. However, make sure that vigorous exercise is done earlier in the day, as intense physical activity close to bedtime can have an energizing effect. Be careful not to overschedule your children which can lead to sleep deprivation and negatively impact their overall well-being and performance. Help your children find  a healthy balance between their academic, extracurricular, and sleep-related activities.

7. Manage Stress and Worries- Children can have worries and anxieties that keep them up at night. Create an open and non-judgmental space for them to share their concerns. You can also introduce relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing or visualization, to help them manage stress.

8. Limit Naps- While naps can be beneficial, especially for younger school-aged children, too much daytime sleep can interfere with nighttime sleep. Limit daytime naps to around 20-30 minutes and avoid napping too close to bedtime.

9. Set Up a Technology-Free Zone- Keep electronic devices out of the bedroom to minimize distractions and promote a dedicated sleep environment. This can help prevent your child from staying up late engaging in screen-based activities.

10. Be a Sleep Role Model- Children often learn by example. Demonstrate the importance of sleep by prioritizing your own sleep. When children see adults valuing sleep, they are more likely to develop healthy sleep habits themselves.

Implementing these sleep tips for school-aged children can lay the foundation for a lifetime of healthy sleep habits. Remember that every child is unique, so it may take some trial and error to find the routine that works best for your family. By prioritizing consistent sleep schedules, you’re equipping your child with the tools they need to enjoy restful nights and productive days. With the gift of good sleep, they can confidently embrace their learning journey and thrive in all aspects of their lives.

If you have any questions about  your child’s sleep patterns or other general health questions, contact the Pediatric Center. The Pediatric Center has been providing comprehensive care for infants, children, and teens in Idaho Falls and Rigby for over 55 years. Contact us at our Idaho Falls location at (208) 523-3060 or our Rigby location (208) 745-8927, to set up your appointment.




Swim Safely this Summer!

Swim Safely this Summer!

Swimming is an enjoyable and beneficial activity for children, offering numerous physical and mental health benefits. However, it’s crucial for parents and guardians to prioritize safety when their children are in or around water. By implementing essential precautions and educating both themselves and their children, families can create a safe and secure environment for swimming.

Supervision is Paramount for Swimming Safety

Never underestimate the importance of constant adult supervision when children are swimming. Even if a lifeguard is present, responsible adults should maintain a watchful eye on their children at all times. Remember the following:

  • Be in close proximity to the water, preferably within arm’s reach.
  • Avoid distractions such as cell phones or engaging in lengthy conversations.
  • Designate a water watcher who focuses solely on supervising children while others take breaks.
  • Keep rescue equipment, such as life jackets, lifebuoys, and a reaching pole, readily available.

Teach Water Competency

Enroll children in swimming lessons at an early age to develop their water competency. Here are some key points to consider:

  • Start with age-appropriate swimming lessons taught by certified instructors.
  • Ensure children are comfortable in the water, can float and tread water, and are capable of basic water rescue techniques.
  • Encourage the development of strong swimming skills as they grow older.

Establish and Enforce Pool Safety Rules

Setting clear rules for pool or water-related activities helps create a safer environment. Make sure children understand and follow these guidelines:

  • No running or pushing around the pool area.
  • No diving into shallow water or unfamiliar areas.
  • No swimming alone without adult supervision.
  • No horseplay or dangerous games in or around the pool.

Swimming & Water Safety Education

Educating children about water safety empowers them to make informed decisions. Teach them the following:

  • The importance of asking for permission before entering the water.
  • How to identify and avoid dangerous water conditions, such as strong currents or deep water.
  • The significance of respecting pool rules and following instructions from lifeguards or adults.

Be Prepared for Emergencies when Swimming

Despite taking preventive measures, it’s crucial to be prepared for unforeseen circumstances. Consider the following:

  • Learn basic CPR and first aid techniques.
  • Keep emergency contact numbers and relevant information readily accessible.
  • Teach children how to call for help in case of an emergency.

Swimming can be a fun and healthy activity for children when proper safety measures are in place. By maintaining constant supervision, providing swimming lessons, setting rules, and educating children about water safety, parents can minimize the risks associated with swimming. Remember, a vigilant and informed approach is key to ensuring a safe and enjoyable swimming experience for children. 

If you have any questions about swimming safety for children or about your child’s health, contact the Pediatric Center. We are here for you and your family when you need us with extended hours on nights and weekends as well as in-house labs and x-rays to help get your family back to the activities they love as soon as possible. Contact us at our Idaho Falls location at (208) 523-3060 or our Rigby location (208) 745-8927, to set up your appointment.




ATV Safety Tips for Kids

ATV Safety Tips for Kids

All-Terrain Vehicles (ATVs) can provide exhilarating outdoor experiences for both adults and children. However, it is crucial to prioritize safety when children are involved. With their powerful engines and potential for high speeds, ATVs can pose significant risks if not operated responsibly. There are guidelines you can follow to help to ensure the safety of your children while enjoying their ATV adventures.

Appropriate Age and Size Restrictions for ATV safety:

The first step in ATV safety for children is ensuring they are of an appropriate age and size to operate or ride as a passenger. Follow the recommendations of the manufacturer regarding age limits and weight capacities for specific models. It is essential to adhere to these guidelines to prevent accidents and injuries.

ATV Protective Gear:

Always equip children with proper safety gear before allowing them to ride an ATV. This includes:

a) Helmet: A well-fitting helmet is crucial for protecting the head in case of a fall or collision. Choose helmets specifically designed for off-road use and ensure they meet safety standards.

b) Eye Protection: Goggles or a face shield will shield the eyes from dust, debris, and insects, enhancing visibility and preventing injuries.

c) Appropriate Clothing: Encourage children to wear long-sleeved shirts, long pants, sturdy boots, and gloves to protect their limbs and enhance grip while riding.

ATV Training and Supervision:

Children should receive comprehensive training on ATV operation and safety before riding independently. Consider enrolling them in an ATV safety course or training program. These courses educate riders about proper handling, turning, braking techniques, and how to navigate various terrains safely. Always supervise children while they ride and maintain constant visual contact to ensure they follow all safety guidelines and rules. Younger children should never ride without adult supervision.

Size-Appropriate ATVs:

Ensure that the ATV your child operates is appropriate for their size and ability. An ATV that is too large or powerful can be challenging to control, increasing the risk of accidents. Select models specifically designed for children, considering their age, weight, and experience level.

ATV Safe Riding Practices:

Teaching children safe riding practices is essential for their well-being. Emphasize the following guidelines:

1. Riding within Designated Areas: Encourage children to ride in designated ATV parks or areas, away from roadways and pedestrians. These areas are specifically designed to ensure rider safety and minimize potential hazards.

2. Obeying Speed Limits: Teach children to ride at appropriate speeds for the terrain and their skill level. Excessive speed can lead to loss of control and accidents.

3. Avoiding Risky Maneuvers: Discourage children from attempting stunts, jumps, or riding on uneven or unstable terrain that may exceed their ability.

4. Maintaining Safe Distances: Teach children to maintain a safe distance from other ATVs or vehicles to prevent collisions.

Regular Maintenance for your ATV:

Proper maintenance is crucial for ensuring the safe operation of ATVs. Regularly inspect the vehicle for any signs of wear or damage, such as worn tires, loose bolts, or malfunctioning brakes. Adhere to the manufacturer’s maintenance schedule and promptly address any issues.

ATVs can provide thrilling experiences for children, but their safe operation requires careful attention to guidelines and precautions. By following these guidelines, parents can significantly reduce the risks associated with ATV use. Prioritizing safety ensures that children can enjoy the adventure while minimizing the potential for accidents and injuries.

If you have any questions about ATV safety for children or have any other questions about your child’s health, contact the Pediatric Center. We are here for you and your family when you need us with extended hours on nights and weekends as well as in-house labs and x-rays to help get your family back to the activities they love as soon as possible. Contact us at our Idaho Falls location at (208) 523-3060 or our Rigby location (208) 745-8927, to set up your appointment.




Help your kids bike safely this summer!

Help your kids bike safely this summer!

As children hop on their bicycles with all the excitement the summer brings, it becomes crucial to prioritize their safety. Whether riding around the neighborhood or on a trail while camping in the mountains, teaching children about bike safety is essential to protect them from potential accidents. We want to share some tips to help keep your children safe on their bike riding adventures this summer!


The first and foremost rule of bike safety is wearing a properly fitted helmet. Bike helmets act as a first line of defense, significantly reducing the risk of head injuries in case of falls or collisions. By providing a cushioning effect and absorbing the impact, helmets can mitigate the severity of head trauma, including concussions, skull fractures, and other potentially life-altering injuries.

Emphasize the significance of protecting their heads and make it a non-negotiable rule. Ensure that the helmet meets safety standards and covers the forehead, leaving only two fingers’ width between the eyebrows and the helmet’s rim. Teach your child how to secure the straps snugly, ensuring a secure fit. Set a good example for your children by consistently wearing your own helmet when cycling.


Teaching children about road rules when riding a bike is vital for their safety. Explain basic traffic signs and signals, the importance of stopping at intersections, and looking both ways before crossing. Encourage them to use hand signals when turning and teach them to ride in the same direction as traffic, on the right side of the road.


Regularly inspecting and maintaining the bicycle ensures its optimal performance and reduces the risk of mechanical failures. Teach your child to check the brakes, tires, and chain before every ride. Explain the importance of properly inflated tires, functioning brakes, and a securely fastened chain.


Wearing appropriate clothing while riding a bike enhances visibility and minimizes potential hazards. Encourage your child to wear bright-colored or reflective clothing to improve visibility, especially during low-light conditions. Closed-toe shoes and well-fitting clothes can help to prevent entanglement with the bike’s moving parts.


Teach your child to stay alert and aware of their surroundings while riding their bikes. Remind them to look out for pedestrians, vehicles, and other cyclists. Instruct them to avoid distractions such as using mobile devices or wearing headphones while riding. Encourage them to listen and watch for approaching vehicles or other potential hazards.


Riding bikes with a friend adds an extra layer of safety. Encourage your child to ride with a friend or a family member whenever possible. They can look out for each other, navigate together, and provide assistance if needed.


Teach your children to anticipate potential dangers, such as opening car doors, sudden stops, cars backing out of garages or driveways, and erratic driving behavior from motorists. Encourage them to maintain a safe distance from parked cars and stay out of blind spots.


Instruct your child on the proper use of sidewalks and crosswalks. Explain that pedestrians have the right of way, and cyclists should yield when crossing intersections or sharing the sidewalk with pedestrians. Remind them to walk their bicycles when using crosswalks.


Practice riding bikes with your children in various settings, including residential areas, bike paths, and busier streets, to improve their skills and confidence. Be vigilant during their rides, providing guidance and feedback as needed.

Bike safety is a crucial aspect of children’s lives and provides a great way to get exercise and enjoy time with friends. By teaching children to follow these safety tips, they will have the necessary tools to navigate their cycling adventures safely. 

If you have any questions about bike safety or other activities, contact the Pediatric Center. We have been providing comprehensive care for infants, children, and teens in Idaho Falls and Rigby for over 55 years. We offer extended hours on nights and weekends as well as in-house labs and x-rays to help get your family back to the activities they love as soon as possible. Contact us at our Idaho Falls location at (208) 523-3060 or our Rigby location (208) 745-8927, to set up your appointment.




Trampoline Safety Tips

Trampoline Safety Tips

The weather is getting warmer and children are outside again riding bikes, swinging, and even jumping on trampolines. Trampolines are a popular outside activity for children, teens, and even some adults! Trampolines can be a fun way to stay active and enjoy time outdoors, but they can also be dangerous if not used properly. Unfortunately, thousands of people are injured on trampolines each year. Children who are 6 years age and younger are at the greatest risk of injury. Common injuries from trampolines include broken bones, concussions, sprains, bruises, scrapes, and head or neck injuries which can sometimes lead to permanent paralysis or even death. Most trampoline injuries occur when there is more than one person jumping on the trampoline. By following trampoline safety tips, you can help prevent accidents and injuries.

Children can get hurt when they:

  • Land wrong while jumping, flipping, or doing somersaults
  • Try various stunts
  • Strike or are struck by another person
  • Fall or jump off the trampoline
  • Land on the springs or frame

Safety tips for trampolines:

Here are some tips from the AAP to help minimize your child’s risk of being injured on a trampoline!

  1. Supervise children jumping on trampolines at all times.
  2. Only allow one jumper on the trampoline at a time.
  3. Ensure that the trampoline has adequate protective padding that is in good condition and appropriately placed.
  4. Somersaults and flips are not recommended because of the risk of head and neck injuries.
  5. Use a safety net for the trampoline and check all equipment often.
  6. If the padding, net enclosure, or any other parts become damaged, replace or repair them as soon as possible.

At the Pediatric Center, we want to give your children the best treatment they can get. If your child gets injured on a trampoline or during other activities, please don’t hesitate to call the Pediatric Center. We are open extended hours and on weekends so we can be here for you when you need us. Our hours are Monday-Friday from 8 am – 8 pm, Saturday from 9 am – 5 pm, and on Sunday from 1 pm – 5 pm. We even have x-rays and labs right in our office so you can get the right diagnosis and treatment plan as quickly as possible. You can contact us at our Idaho Falls location at (208) 523-3060 or our Rigby location (208) 745-8927, to set up your appointment.


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