5 school supplies you didn't think you needed
You already know you need to stock up on composition books, binders, pencils and note cards. You have cases full of erasers and protractors. You scoured the Internet for the best deal on a scientific calculator. But you still don't have everything you need for your kids to have a successful year. Check out our list of supplies you may have missed.
1. Hand sanitizer
School is full of kids -- and germs. No need to make your kids crazy, but it's a good idea to get them in the habit of using a bit of sanitizer before lunch and after activities such as science labs or other potentially messy situations. Look for small bottles that can be stashed in lockers or backpacks.
2. Multivitamin supplement
Getting kids to eat a balanced diet can be hard. If you want to ensure that yours get proper nutrition no matter what, talk to your pediatrician about a daily multivitamin that's formulated specifically for your kids' needs. Just remember: Vitamins aren't a substitute for healthy eating -- but they can give your kids the immune boost they need to stay healthy through cold and flu season.
3. Vitamin D
A multivitamin is a good start, but here are the facts: Nearly 70 percent of US children have low levels of vitamin D, putting them at greater risk for bone and heart disease, according to a study by the Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University. So consider extra vitamin D, even if you're already offering a daily multivitamin. (Talk to your child's pediatrician before giving any vitamins or supplements.)
4. Shoe inserts
Do your kids walk to and from school every day? Think about getting a pair of gel shoe inserts to cushion the feet and make walking more pleasant. You also can find inserts that cut down on foot odors, if necessary.
5. Mini first aid kit
A small first aid kit with bandages, pain relief cream and even pain medicine for responsible teens can cut down on trips to the nurse's office and help kids stay focused on what really matters. Check with your school first, though: Some don't allow kids to bring medications of any kind without the nurse's approval.
Gear up for school and get your supplies ready early so that when the first day rolls around you -- and your kids -- are well equipped to move to the head of the class.
More on vitamin D deficiency in children
Children's Hospital Oakland: Risk of vitamin D deficiency in children
Important advice about bone health, sun exposure, sunblock, diet -- and vitamin D supplements for health and strong bones.