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    Essentials Checklist for Back-to-School Shopping



    Here are seven tips for the back-to-school items you really need to keep your kids happy and healthy this year.

    As summer comes to a close, it's time to get your back-to-school shopping in the bag. Finding time to go to the store is only half the battle. Between your kids requesting the latest light-up sneakers and the massive supply list you received from the school, it can be hard to figure out what you actually need to purchase. Here are seven tips for back-to-school items you really need this year to keep your kids happy and healthy:


    1. Paper Supplies


    No matter what grade your little one is entering, you're bound to need some paper, folders, and pencils. In this category, follow your child's teacher's suggestions. Some teachers may want notebooks, while others might prefer loose-leaf paper, but supplies like Five Star Pocket & Prong Poly Folder are always good options. Now is the perfect time to stock up on these essentials as you'll find greater variety during the back-to-school rush than at other times of the year. Pick up a notebook in each color with a matching folder. Perfect for each subject.


    2. Pencil Case


    Your child will also need a handy pencil case to keep all of their pens, pencils, highlighters, colored pencils, and erasers handy. It's also a great place to leave encouraging notes and tiny surprises to quell those first-day jitters.


    3. Pencil Sharpener


    Nothing derails homework time faster than a broken pencil, but a pencil sharpener is one of the most often-forgotten items. Be sure to get a high-quality sharpener (think electric, like the X Acto Pencil Sharpener, not a tiny plastic contraption) that will always come to your rescue during homework emergencies.


    4. Math Essentials


    Make sure your mini mathematician is well-equipped with a ruler, a Westcott Compass with a retractable safety point, and a calculator, if allowed.


    5. Labels


    Stock up on some plain-old labels you can use to write your kid's name on every single thing they own. Kids are notorious for losing even their most prized possessions, so be sure to mark all items so they can always find their way back to your child.


    6. Backpack and Lunchbox


    Your child will also need a high-quality backpack and lunchbox. When it comes to these items, quality is key because you'll need something that lasts all year. You don't want to try to hunt down a lunchbox in March, so invest in good quality now. Don't forget to pick up an ice pack, too; it's a great idea to get a fresh one each year.


    7. Alarm Clock


    An alarm clock with battery backup, such as the Craig Digital Duo Alarm, can help your kids start the day on schedule, even if the power goes out. Bonus: kids can choose to wake up to the buzzer or a preset radio station, so they can wake up and rock out to their favorite tunes as they get ready in the morning.


    8. Backpack Must-Haves


    A well-stocked backpack will help make sure your kids are ready for whatever the day has in store. Pick up an extra cell phone charger, a reusable water bottle, and a compact umbrella so they can stay connected, hydrated, and dry throughout the year.


    9. Essential Medications


    This may not be one of the most conventional tips for back-to-school season, but it's a vital one. Make sure to stock up on essential medications before the first day of school. Of course, you'll need to go over any prescription medications your child takes with the school nurse, but you should also stock up on over-the-counter staples, such as Tylenol for headaches, Benadryl for any allergic reactions your child may experience, and lice treatment for those inevitable school-wide infestations.


    10. Immunizations


    Most schools require your children to be fully vaccinated before classes begin. Check your school's vaccination requirements and then talk with your pediatrician to make sure your kids are up-to-date; if not, visit your local Rite Aid Pharmacy to get the required vaccines before the first day.


    By Rebecca Desfosse


    These articles are not a substitute for medical advice, and are not intended to treat or cure any disease. Advances in medicine may cause this information to become outdated, invalid, or subject to debate. Professional opinions and interpretations of scientific literature may vary. Consult your healthcare professional before making changes to your diet, exercise, or medication regime.