Back to School NYC – How to Get the Best Sales on School Supplies
How to Shop for School Supplies for your Kids
NEW YORK- The first day of school is just around the corner and stores are filled with back-to-school promotions. Below are tips from the Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) on how to teach children about budgeting and saving, protecting your money, and improving your finances before the first bell rings.
“Back-to-school shopping is an exciting time for families, but with long supply lists and flashy marketing campaigns, parents know all too well the amount of money that can be spent during this busy time,” said DCA Commissioner Lorelei Salas. “With our tips, parents can create a plan and shop smart while teaching their kids about the importance of saving money and budgeting.”
Ask for a receipt and save it
In New York City, you are entitled to a receipt for purchases of more than $20. Protect your personal information—by law, a customer’s receipt must not show the credit card’s expiration date or more than its last five digits.
Check store refund policies
Stores must post a sign detailing their policy. If they don’t, you are entitled to a refund within 30 days of your purchase.
Look for prices
Stores must have prices posted on all items to ensure that shoppers are not charged at different rates for the same products.
Make a list and create a budget
Get the teacher’s supply list and then teach children how to create a budget based on how much they have to spend and what they need to get. When you’re shopping stick to the list and the budget. Help kids make smart decisions when choosing which supplies to buy.
Use websites, smartphone apps and social media to research products, compare prices, and find sales and discounts.
Teach your children about credit and how it works
Explain that credit cards are not “free money”, and that what you pay for with it must be paid back with interest. Tell them about paying minimum balances versus the full balance and about the consequences of using a credit card irresponsibly.
Be a role model and get financial counseling
Make smart financial choices when shopping – kids learn a great deal by observing adults. New Yorkers can get free, one-on-one financial counseling at one of the City’s Financial Empowerment Centers, to help them reduce debt, build their savings, open a bank account, improve credit, and more. New Yorkers can book a free and confidential appointment with a professional financial counselor by calling 311, visiting nyc.gov/dca, or texting TalkMoney to 42033 (message and data rates may apply; check with your service provider).
DCA also offers student loan debt tips to help people learn what their options are, as well as for young adults to help inform them of their rights and responsibilities when enrolling in a school or training program, using a credit card, taking out a student or car loan, and learning about credit repair scams.
For more consumer tips, visit nyc.gov/dca and join the conversation on Twitter by following @NYCDCA and using the hashtag #BacktoSchoolNYC.
Back to School NYC – Medical Checkups for Your Child
By Bianca Calderon, MD, FAAP
Attending Physician in Pediatrics, Comprehensive Health Care Center, Montefiore Medical Group
Instructor, Department of Pediatrics, Albert Einstein College of Medicine
NEW YORK– As summer winds down, it’s time to start thinking about preparing your children for the new school year. As a pediatrician at Montefiore’s Comprehensive Health Care Center, I have seen quite a few children go through this transition year after year. To make the back-to-school transition as smooth as possible, here is my recommended Back to School Checklist for parents.
HEALTH CARE MAINTENANCE:
Make sure that your child is up to date with their annual physical.
If you do not remember when your child last had a physical, you can always call your pediatrician’s office and ask.
Make sure that your child is up to date with their vaccinations.
You can refer to the CDC website for the recommended vaccine schedule: https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/parents/childhood-vaccines
You can find the medical and vaccine requirements for New York City schools here:
And don’t forget about the flu shot!
Most pediatric offices should be carrying the influenza vaccine by early September.
Make sure to call your pediatrician’s office to find out when they will have the flu shot and what their policy is for coming in to get the shot (ask whether you need an appointment or if you can just walk in).
For the 2018-2019 school year, all children aged 6 months through 59 months who attend a New York City regulated childcare program must receive the flu shot by December 31st.
A lot of children have anxiety about the first day of school, especially if they are entering a new school. To help offset this anxiety, you can:
Talk through what the new school year will be like with your child.
For elementary school students, you can tell them their teacher’s name and go through any information/expectations the teacher has told you beforehand.
For middle school and high school students, go through their schedule with them.
For those attending a new school in the fall, in order to help your child feel more comfortable with the transition, make sure that both you and your child take a tour of the new school and go to orientation.
Start having your children adjust back to the school sleep and wake schedule a few days to a week before school starts.
That way, their bodies will already be accustomed to this schedule on the first day of school.
Remember: younger children generally require 10-12 hours of sleep each night, and teenagers need 8-10 hours of sleep each night.
TRANSPORTATION AND TRAVEL:
Make sure that you have a safe plan for how your child is going to get to school and how they are going to get home after school.
If your child needs any special accommodations for travel, make sure to set this up with the school before the school year starts.
If your child will be walking to school, make sure that it is a safe and well-lit route.
Make sure that you or another trusted adult has practiced the route with them before the first day of school.
If possible, find out if other neighborhood children will be going to the same school so that the children can walk together.
Remind your children not to talk to strangers.
Make sure that your child is always wearing a helmet when they are riding their bike.
Make sure your child knows to look both ways before crossing the street.
Make sure your child does not try to board the bus until the bus has come to a complete stop.
Make sure your child wears the lap strap or seatbelt (if the bus has these devices).
Make sure that everyone in the car is wearing a seatbelt.
If your teenager will be driving themselves to school, remind them not to use their cellphones while driving and to always be fully focused on the road.
Back pain due to a heavy backpack is a common complaint.
In order to avoid this complaint:
Make sure that your child uses both straps when wearing their backpack.
Choose the right sized backpack. You should be able to adjust the straps so that the bottom of the backpack is near the level of your child’s waist.
TALK TO YOUR ADOLESCENT
If your child is entering middle school or high school, you should have a frank conversation with them about smoking, drugs, alcohol, sex (including contraception and sexually transmitted infections), and romantic relationships.
Find out if your child’s school provides breakfast. If the school does not provide breakfast, make sure that your child has breakfast before school each day.
Children who eat breakfast have more energy, focus better, and have improved school performance.
If you want more information on preparing for the new school year, you can check out the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) website for parents: https://www.healthychildren.org