Back-to-school season is quickly approaching, and for some places in the U.S is here! It can be exciting and nerve-racking for children, but being prepared as a parent can help calm their nerves. There are also numerous resources to help children who may need assistance, whether it’s with school supplies or healthcare. Here are some ways to prepare your child while also assisting other children in need before they head back to school.
Talk to Your Child
Talking to your child before they head back to school is important as a parent. With new teachers and friends to be made, children can understandably be nervous ahead of time.
Talking to your child can be very helpful for your their mental health. Having conversations with them can help put their minds at ease about the future. Sit them down and connect with them emotionally by offering a space for them to air their thoughts out. Let them vent their frustrations and/or excitements about the upcoming school year.
Furthermore, you should give them time to ask questions. Remember, as a parent, you have the important hindsight to help guide your child in the right direction. Give them an open floor to discuss their fears and anxiety. Allowing them this level of space and comfort ensures a healthy balance of communication between parent and child — an important move before heading back to school.
Gathering School Supplies
When preparing your child to head back to school, you’ll obviously need to purchase school supplies for them. Consider your everyday use items, such as notebooks, binders, loose leaf paper, pens, pencils, erasers, pencil cases, and a backpack. Items that may be used for other purposes are also advised — such as markers, colored pencils, crayons, and glue.
Unfortunately, not all children may have access to these school supplies.
Back to School Drives
Some free and charitable clinics and other nonprofits have been organizing back to school drives to get school supplies to kids in need in their communities. Find a clinic near you to see if they are having one and how you can donate! https://nafcclinics.org/find-clinic/.
43% of Free and Charitable Clinics and Pharmacies provide care for patients from the ages 0-17. Back to school means time for physicals and immunizations. If you don’t have a pediatrician for your child and lack access to one, contact a clinic near you to see if they provide pediatric services. https://nafcclinics.org/find-clinic/.
COVID-19 vaccines are available for children ages 6 months and older. If you have questions or would like to learn more about COVID-19 vaccines, visit our Vaccine Guide page, where you will find FAQs, a variety of infographics including pediatric guides, regular updates with Unmask the Facts, and more.
Connecting Kids to Coverage
Connecting Kids to Coverage is a national campaign of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to reach and enroll eligible kids and teens in Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).
Children who have health coverage are better prepared to learn and are less likely to miss school because they’re sick. Through Medicaid and the CHIP, kids can get the immunizations, regular checkups, eye exams, dental visits, mental health services, prescriptions and other care they may need to fully participate in classroom and after-school activities.
Millions of children and teens up to age 19 are eligible for free or low-cost health insurance under these programs, but are not enrolled. And, in some states, more parents may be eligible too. You can call 1-855-313-KIDS (5437) or visit https://www.insurekidsnow.gov for more information. Enrollment is open year-round!
Getting Help with NAFC
At the National Association of Free and Charitable Clinics, we are dedicated to helping those in need find the health coverage and care they deserve — regardless of economic status. And with children heading back to school, we want to make sure they have access to all the supplies and care they need for a healthy school year.
To learn more about how the NAFC can help, please visit our Get Care page to locate a clinic and other options near you today!