COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - Summer fun is winding down for thousands of kids across the Valley, as school officials gear up to welcome students back to classes in less than two weeks.
Fun in the sun and other summer time freedoms can create the perfect environment for parents to throw caution to the wind, and let their children break away from sleep and eating routines.
However, health officials say these last two weeks of summer vacation is crucial in reimplementing structure.
Experts from the National Sleep Foundation recommend "gradually adjusting sleep and wake schedules 10 days to two weeks before the start of school."
They also suggest limiting your child's caffeine intake and start taking electronics out of the bedroom to promote healthier rest.
The National Sleep Foundation explains that pre-schoolers between the ages of three to five should get at least 11 to 13 hours of sleep during the school year.
The Foundation also recommends kids five to 10 years old get 10 to 11 hours of sleep. Meanwhile, adolescents are encouraged to get at least nine hours of sleep each day.
While some health aspects like immunizations may be on the forefront of some parents minds, Muscogee County school administrators say sleep and food habits are also crucial.
Research from the Department of Health and Human Services encourage parents to start preparing what they will pack in their child's lunch.
Experts say you should look for discounts on healthy foods and fresh produce, as well as compare the packaging on food items to monitor calories, fats, sodium and sugars.