(WSYR-TV) — As kids return to school this fall, it’s important to make sure they’re practicing good habits to stay happy, healthy, and safe. Julie Panna of the Onondaga County Medical Society shares her advice on doing so.

Julie emphasizes the importance of washing hands for at least twenty seconds, keeping kids home if they feel sick, and having a thermometer on hand. It’s also essential for kids to get back in the habit of going to bed earlier, exercising more, and practicing good hygiene.

It’s critical, especially in Central New York, to take advantage of the hot weather while we have it. Make sure to get your kids outside for fun activities that also count as exercise. It’s important that kids get in the habit of drinking enough water and stretching after exercising as well.

While so much attention is given to physical health for kids, it’s also crucial to keep an eye on kids’ mental health, too. Thankfully, there are many more resources now, such as social workers and mental health programs, available for kids at school. While these resources have certainly improved over the past few years, there’s still more work to be done in providing extra help for those kids who need it. Consider calling the school or calling your child’s pediatrician to get a referral if necessary.

For more tips on getting kids ready for the back-to-school transition, visit ONCMS.org.