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Maui Health’s Medical Minute Provides Back to School Tips For Children After Staying Home During COVID-19


Dr. Irene Papaconstadopoulos, a pediatrician with Child and Adolescent Maui Physicians – or CH.A.M.PS Pediatrics – provides back to school tips for children after staying home during COVID-19.

Going back to school after staying home during COVID is an exciting time for families but it may also be a stressful time.

Make the transition easier for your kids by planning ahead. Get your child back on a consistent schedule early, which includes a regular bedtime. Most school-aged children need 10-11 hours of sleep per night. Not getting enough sleep can lead to mood and behavior issues and can also affect kids’ cognitive abilities including attention and memory, their decision making and even their immune system!

Another way to help younger children transition back to school is to talk to them about what to expect during the school day. This includes if and when they should keep their mask on, how and where to wash their hands, and what the new drop-off process may be at their school including whether or not you’re able to walk them to their classrooms. You may even want to practice drop-offs and other in-school protocols with little kids. 

Lastly, contact your pediatrician and make sure your child is up-to-date on all their regular vaccinations and has had their check-up. As per the American Academy of Pediatrics, many children have missed their routine checkups and vaccinations after the declaration of a national state of emergency on March 13, 2020. When vaccination rates decline, we worry about an outbreak of vaccine-preventable diseases that can be harmful to children, such as measles. Herd immunity declines. We also know there has been a reduction in childhood vaccinations worldwide, and as COVID-19 restrictions are relaxed, there will be an increased risk of these outbreaks. 

And if they qualify, get them vaccinated against COVID-19. The vaccine is the best way to protect your teen and potentially prevent outbreaks in your school community. If you have any questions about your kids’ health, use a reliable source online such as the Centers for Disease Control at cdc.gov or your pediatrician.

You can also submit specific questions to mauihealth.org/medicalminute.

Parenting is hard and there are so many important decisions we must make. But, the longer you put off a well-child checkup, the farther behind your child may get. So make your child’s checkup a priority and celebrate the daily small wins.

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Testimonials

Happy Parents

    "I was so impressed with Dr. Irene Papaconstadopolous. Everything is at her practice is streamlined and organized. Paperwork all sent beforehand in an easy to use digital format. Communication was clear and office easy to access. Went for our 18 month old’s check up and it was the most time I have ever been able to spend with a doctor! She even administered the vaccines. She was thorough, friendly, and creative in approach to making my toddler comfortable and engaged. So happy to have a competent, friendly, organized, and WONDERFUL pediatrician on Maui. Such a blessing. Mahalo!"

    Nicole B. Google reviews March, 2022

    Dr. Irene is the kind of doctor United States badly need more of. I took my child to see her for a hard to troubleshoot chronic issue, and I was very surprised that instead of typical in the US approach of prescribing a medicine to treat the symptom and get you out of the door, she took the time to understand medical history, went over each possibility what could have been causing the issue, and proposed a few possible follow-ups how to zero in to the root cause. Her advice was very helpful and produced positive results. I highly recommend Dr. Irene Papaconstadopoulos.

    S.D via google reviews

    "I can’t express how grateful I am, as a mother of two young children, to have found such a wonderful pediatrician. Dr. Irene is knowledgeable, accessible, and above all, great with kids! Even though my girls have had to be poked and prodded on occasion, they still love Dr. Irene so much that they get excited to see her again - and that’s saying a lot. If you are looking for a pediatrician who you can trust with your children’s health, who can answer your questions, who gets back to you quickly, and who herself is an amazing mother, then you’ve found her! I’m so glad we have. ❤️"

    K.F. 2020 via Google reviews

    We love Dr. Irene with CHAMPS Pediatrics! My two daughters have been seeing her since 2018 and we trust her completely. She's extremely warm, understanding and takes her time to explain and answer any questions that you may have as parents. She is extremely fast with the text replies through the online portal (klara) as well, which is great for those forgotten questions in between visits. Dr. Irene is super sweet and efficient and truly cares about your experience and the welfare of your children. HIGHLY recommended!

    J.P 2020 via Google reviews

    "Dr. Irene is the most caring, gentle, genuine Pediatrician. She is so kind and loving with my boys. She makes them feel so comfortable and they are even excited when we have an appt! She was so quick to respond on the Klara App to communicate with me even during a holiday weekend and answer my questions about my son. She takes time to go over everything and answer all my questions and concerns, every time we've met with her. I've never felt rushed. I highly recommend her! She's been so great caring for my family. I feel so blessed to have been referred to her!! Thank you Dr. Irene, for caring for my kids!"

    Tammy M. via Yelp

    "Dr. Irene is amazing! She really listens to you and your concerns, and takes the time to address them. She is so gentle and kind with my kids! She has definitely exceeded our expectations! I’m positive that my kids are having the best care on island. We love her and we are so happy that she joined our Maui community!"  via Google reviews

    Sueshine R.

    "Dr. Irene is amazing. She is caring, gentle, truly listens and graciously worked with us and our children to provide the best medical care. Highly recommend!!!"  

    B.H.