The school year is about to begin, and doctors are recommending parents do some simple things to keep their kids healthy and happy.
 
Getting kids to go to bed early can be a huge hassle.  Children ages 6 through 12 need around 10 to 12 hours of sleep each night.  Doctors at the Mankato Clinic suggest adjusting bedtimes two weeks before the first day of school by having your kids go to bed a few minutes earlier each night. 
 
Dr. Donald Putzier, a pediatrician at Mankato Clinic's Wickersham location, said: "Studies have actually shown that children that don't get enough sleep have more problems in the daytime with staying awake when they need to stay awake.  With their cognitive abilities, abilities to concentrate on school work, even concentrate on sports and play."
 
You will also want to make sure your kid's vaccinations are up to date.  Minnesota law requires proof of vaccination for children in child care and school.
 
Dr. Katie Smentek, a Mankato Clinic pediatrician, said: "From my standpoint as a pediatrician and a mom vaccines are safe, they're effective, they're worth it and I encourage everybody to make sure their kids are up to date."
 
Doctors say vaccinations are the best way to prevent the spread of infectious disease, and that complications from them are very rare.