By DR. SALLY ROBINSON

The following is from the American Academy of Pediatrics recommendations for returning to school in 2016. For many children (and their parents) the first day of school is upsetting. There are several suggestions for making the first day easier.

• Remind your child that there are probably a lot of students who are uneasy about the first day of school. This may be at any age. Teachers know that students are nervous and will make an extra effort to make sure everyone feels as comfortable as possible.

• Point out the positive aspects of starting school. She’ll see old friends and meet new ones. Refresh her positive memories about the previous year, when she may have returned home after the first day with high spirits because she had a good time.

• Find another child in the neighborhood with whom your child can walk or ride with on the bus.

• If it is a new school for your child, attend available orientations and take an opportunity to tour the school before the first day.

• If you feel it is needed, drive your child (or walk with her) to school and pick her up on the first day.

Riding the school bus is another area of concern and a chance to help your child to be safe.

• Children should always board and exit the bus at locations that provide safe access to the bus or the school building.

• Remind your child to wait for the bus to stop before approaching it from the curb.

• Make sure your child walks where she can see the bus driver (which means the bus driver will be able to see your child).

• Remind your child to look both ways to see that no other traffic is coming before crossing the street, just in case traffic does not stop as required.

• Your child should not move around on the bus.

• If your child’s school bus has lap/shoulder seat belts, make sure your child uses one at all times.

Walking to school:

• Make sure your child’s walk to school is a safe route with well-trained crossing guards.

• Identify other children in the neighborhood with whom your child can walk to school.

• Be realistic about your child’s pedestrian skills. Small children are impulsive and less cautious around traffic, carefully consider whether or not your child is ready to walk to school without adult supervision

• Bright-colored clothing will make your child more visible to drivers.

Sally Robinson is a clinical professor of pediatrics at UTMB Children’s Hospital. This column isn’t intended to replace the advice of your child’s physician.