Foothill Christian School Blog

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3 Tips For Healthy Students

I cannot believe that the summer is coming to an end. As a fellow Foothill Christian School parent, I am certainly excited to witness all the wonderful growth and development of my two sons this academic year.

I want to take this opportunity to briefly share with you some back-to-school tips through my “Pediatrician Lens.” My goal is that these simple reminders will help keep your little ones well and out of their doctor’s office!

1. Re-adjust to an academic sleep schedule. Structured sleep is critical to great health. While there is high variability in sleep requirements between different people, children need an average of 10 hours of sleep per day. And, guess what? Parents need sleep, too! In fact, adults need an average of 7-8 hours of sleep per day. How many of us actually achieve that? The bedtime routine should be ritualistic, almost religious. Practice good sleep hygiene – be as consistent as possible with your family bedtime, avoid overstimulation prior to bed, particularly screen time, and avoid working, studying and using your blue light-emitting devices in bed. Healthy sleep habits support our other goals of good hydration, proper nutrition and exercise in preventing and fighting disease.

2. Teach your children appropriate hand hygiene. Wash thoroughly with soap and water or with hand sanitizer after using the restroom, blowing your nose, or making any contact with the inside of your nose (or the other dirty end). Even the most well-behaved young child may reach for the inside of their nose from time to time, and this behavior needs to be identified and addressed by parents and teachers. In fact, cleaning hands is one of the most important ways to prevent the spread of infectious diseases.

3. Make sure your children are up to date with all of their vaccinations! Vaccinating is not just important to reduce morbidity and mortality of our children from preventable diseases, it is socially responsible! How sad is it to leave vulnerable all those high risk people – very old and very young, pregnant, chronically ill and immunosuppressed, those who medically cannot be vaccinated, etc. – if the herd immunity is compromised?  We collectively depend on as many people as possible being vaccinated to prevent penetration of these terrible diseases into our community.

The last reminder is to always find time to be PRESENT with your children. Whether through travel, sports, outdoor recreation, active listening, sharing a meal or just laughing together, our children depend on us not just being physically there with them, but engaging them. This is an essential part of raising our children. Life seems exceedingly busy, but this presence is key to our children’s psychosocial health and overall wellbeing!

Thank you for your attention. I look forward to watching our children blossom and I wish you all a healthy and prosperous 2019-2020 academic year!


Michael G. Madanat, M.D., M.B.A., M.S., F.A.A.P.

Dr. Michael Madanat is a Board Certified pediatrician practicing in San Dimas where he serves as the president of Foothill Pediatric & Adolescent Clinic. His practice was originally founded by his father, Dr. George Madanat, and has been continuously operating and serving the beloved youth and families of our community since 1975. A native of the East San Gabriel Valley, Dr. Madanat has participated in numerous leadership positions within our region, including Pediatric Lead for Healthcare Partners, Member of the Board of Managers for the Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles Health Network, and Physician Coach for Citrus Valley Health Partners (now Emanate Health). Dr. Madanat also currently serves on the teaching faculty for Pomona Valley Medical Center and mentors family medicine residents in his clinic.

Dr. Madanat completed his internship and pediatric residency at University of California Los Angeles, which included time at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, Santa Monica UCLA Medical Center, Cedars Sinai Medical Center, and Olive View County Hospital. He is a graduate of Tufts University School of Medicine, where he earned his M.D. and his M.B.A. in Healthcare Management. Dr. Madanat completed his M.S. in physiology and biophysics at Georgetown University and his B.A. in psychology at the University of California, San Diego.

In Dr. Madanat’s free time, he enjoys spending time with his wife and their two sons. They enjoy traveling, cooking, hiking, swimming, and playing soccer and tennis together.

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