As much as kids complain that they hate school, we know they secretly love learning and playing with friends. Parents also like it when children go to school. With summer quickly coming to an end, it’s a great time to do some much-needed back-to-school shopping for the little ones!
At Kids Healthy Teeth, we highly encourage parents to bring their children along to pick out their school supplies for the new semester. Having autonomy over something as seemingly insignificant as what pencils and notebooks they will be using might actually get your kids excited for class.
To make things easy for you, our Katy pediatric dentist and mother of one, Dr. Chen, has worked with us to create a list of back-to-school necessities and where to get them. Let’s get started!
Where to Get School Supplies in Katy?
You can get your school supplies anywhere, but the quality of the supplies will vary depending on what store you’re at! Here’s our take on how to optimize your time and money:
- Dollar Tree (24423 Katy Fwy, Katy, TX 77494): For the super basics, you can’t go wrong with Dollar Tree. The discount store really has everything you need, from crayons and poster boards to pencil cases and glue.
- Target (23710 Westheimer Pkwy, Katy, TX 77494): If you have an appointment planned at Kids Healthy Teeth, you may want to stop by Target on the way! The Target at Market Center in Cinco Ranch has everything your child needs to start the school year off right. In our opinion, it’s the best place to get cute notebooks, durable folders, and fun extras like stickers and glitter.
- Walmart (25108 Market Pl Dr, Katy, TX 77494): For big families, Walmart is the place to go. You can get tons of affordable supplies in bulk here, and since the super retailer is open 24/7, it’s the ideal place for those last-minute items you forgot to put on your list.
Get Supplies for Your Kids Lunch Box?
The best thing about school is lunch. And lunch recess.
Make sure your child is well equipped to pay attention in class by providing quality lunches for them beforehand! The Katy Independent School District offers hot lunches in its schools’ cafeterias.
To learn more about these options, check out our post about tooth-friendly elementary school lunches in Katy, TX. You can also apply for a reduced lunch waiver – just contact the school for an application!
If you’ve got a picky eater on your hands, you may want to have some packed lunch options prepared, too. The next time you go grocery shopping, remember to grab some juice boxes, string cheese, lunchables, yogurt, peanut butter, and jell.
If none of these seem appealing to you, take a look at our healthy grocery guide for kids in Katy, TX.
Some Options for Groceries
- Trader Joe’s (2717 Commercial Center Blvd, Katy, TX 77494): While you’re doing some grocery shopping, why not pick up some premade lunches? Trader Joe’s has a ton of yummy premade salads, enchiladas, and spring rolls you can easily pack for lunch.
- 85°C Bakery Cafe (23330 Grand Cir Blvd, Ste 100, Katy, TX 77450): If you’re unfamiliar, this establishment is a Taiwanese-owned franchise that serves everything from delicious bite-sized pastries to full-on birthday cakes. You can also get some very convenient offerings that multitask as breakfast, lunch, and even dessert! The cute little shop has hot dog bread, ham & cheese bread, Hawaiian chicken bread, and even tuna sandwiches.
- Chicken Salad Chick (21788 Katy Fwy, Ste 900, Katy, TX 77449): Located off the Katy freeway, Chicken Salad Chick is a fun, casual eatery specializing in sandwiches and chicken salads. We love their food because you can enjoy it hot or cold, making it the perfect meal to pack for a long day at school.
As always, regardless of your kid’s choices, you should help them pay close attention to their dental hygiene habits as well. Pack their toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste so they can clean their teeth even while away from home.
What About Vaccines?
Some schools require their students to be vaccinated to prevent mass infection and illness. If your child goes to a school in the Katy Independent School District, you will most likely have to comply with standards set by the Texas Department of State Health. These vaccines are usually for the following:
- Diphtheria, Tetanus, and Pertussis (DTaP)
- Haemophilus Influenza Type B
- Measles, Mumps, and Rubella (MMR)
- Hepatitis B
- Varicella (Chickenpox)
To learn more about when your child needs to get these vaccines, you can check out the Texas School & Child Care Immunization Requirements.
Most insurance companies are required to cover vaccines, but check with your child’s healthcare provider before you schedule an appointment! After your child receives the vaccinations, they will receive a copy of the record so that you can give it to the school’s health administration.
Kids who are involved with intramural sports may need some new equipment and athletic apparel for the new school year. Sports equipment is essential to replace because old gear can be dangerous to use.
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), children and adolescents should perform 60 minutes or more of physical activity per day.
Getting exercise is vital for kids, so they can develop their bones and improve their cardiovascular endurance. At Kids Healthy Teeth, we promote dental and overall health, so we encourage patients to participate in intramural sports or youth leagues if they can.
It’s also pretty awesome to hear amazing stories about our all-star athlete patients scoring goals and beating records!
Our pediatric dentists are big sports fans, but they also understand that high contact activities are associated with some risks. It’s our goal to avoid dental injuries by teaching kids and parents about proper equipment and protection.
While most sports organizations do have safety regulations in place, many don’t take any precautions for dental safety.
On the bright side, there are easy ways to prevent dental emergencies. We consider our patients a part of our dental family, so we want them and their families to access sports safety resources.
Pay attention to the ways you can protect your child’s teeth and keep them safe whenever they engage in contact sports. One cautionary step can save you from a lot of stress!
While most schools provide a standard PE uniform, your child may want to get fresh new shoes, socks, or athletic undergarments.
Where to Get the Equipment?
Here are a few places you can get sports gear in Katy:
- Dick’s Sporting Goods (24600 Katy Fwy Ste 1100A, Katy, TX 77494): This chain is notable for consistently providing a wide variety of high-quality sports apparel and equipment for athletes throughout the US. It’s a great place to go for the basics.
- Baw Athletic Wear (5040 Franz Rd, Katy, TX 77493): Katy isn’t always the best place for strenuous physical activity – it can switch from being super hot to super cold in just a matter of hours. High-quality, temperature-adapted sportswear is a must for kids who spend several hours on the field honing in on their athletic skills.
- PGA Tour Superstore (24743 Katy Freeway, Katy, TX 77494): PGA Tour Superstore specializes in apparel and equipment for tennis and golf. It offers more options for these two sports than any other regular sports retailer, so it’s the place to go if your kids are involved in tennis or golf.
Thanks to Katy Youth Basketball, tons of kids can get involved in a basketball program as long as they live within Katy ISD boundaries.
The non-profit organization is open to boys and girls from 1st through 10th grade. If your child is interested in playing, sign up for the Katy Youth Basketball 5-on-5 league soon! The Season starts in January with two practices per week and games on Saturdays.
The league provides uniforms, referees, gym space, trophies, awards, equipment purchases and repairs, and logistical fees with a nominal registration. Not included in the package is protective dental equipment.
However, basketball is a high contact sport – kids are throwing balls, lunging to shoot, defending other players, etc. Injuries are not unlikely, so we highly recommend you invest in a mouthguard. In fact, almost all NBA players use mouthguards to prevent accidents on the court. Stephen Curry even wears flavored ones!
If you’re not sure what a mouthguard is, it is a piece of athletic equipment that covers the upper teeth. It’s made of durable but flexible material specially designed to protect against broken teeth, cut lips, and other damage.
Mouthguards should fit the teeth and mouth comfortably, so the user can still communicate and breathe normally.
There are tons of opportunities for kids of all ages to join a soccer team in Katy, TX. We have multiple soccer clubs and programs in Katy, such as the SG1 Soccer Club, the Katy Youth Soccer Club, i9 Sports, Fun Fair Positive Soccer, CF10 Soccer Academy, YMCA Youth Soccer, and Memorial Indoor Soccer Academy.
Some require tryouts, while others are open to all. There are also many summer programs and camps for kids who want to hone their coordination and skills before playing competitively.
Though no hands are allowed in the game, players can use any other body part to manipulate the ball, making head injuries quite common. Players often get involved in player-to-head collisions or ball-to-head collisions.
Typically, soccer equipment for kids only consists of cleats, high socks, and shin guards. Goalkeepers probably get the most protection because other players literally kick high-speed soccer balls in their direction, but most other players don’t get any protection for the head.
While they can’t prevent concussions, mouthguards can absorb the impact of a blow to stop the teeth from being damaged.
They can also protect other players from the wearer’s teeth. Not all players use mouthguards in soccer, but you may want to get one for your child if they play in an aggressive league or have braces.
Tackle football is the definition of a contact sport (not really, but it’s a good example). Kids ram into each other every few yards in a chaotic melee. It’s not difficult to see why it’s such an injury-prone sport.
With that said, youth football leagues have taken many preventative measures to avoid serious injuries. Kids who play football should use extensive safety equipment, including a helmet, jockstrap, shoulder pads, and mouthguard.
Football players should use their mouthguard and helmet at every game and practice to prevent trauma to the head and mouth.
After every use, make sure to remind your child to clean the mouthguard, too. A quick way to keep them fresh is to leave them soaking in a mix of baking soda, vinegar, and water, or brush the mouthguards manually with soap and water.
Otherwise, they can get smelly from calcium and bacteria.
Kids can participate in tackle football or flag football with Katy Youth Football. The non-profit organization hosts multiple divisions throughout its fall season every year. Most middle schools and high schools in the Katy Independent School District also offer intramural sports.
Depending on what position your child is playing, they may need safety equipment to protect themselves. Catchers need chest protectors and leg guards because they have the highest risk of being hit by a ball.
Batters, pitchers, and catchers all wear helmets and mouthguards in case of a mispitched ball, but a mouthguard can be useful for any player. With balls flying up to 90 mph, it’s a good idea to get some protection no matter where you’re playing. We recommend using a helmet with a face cage or ear flaps to keep balls from damaging the teeth and jaw.
There are many leagues your child can get involved in Katy, such as the Katy National League, Katy Pony Baseball, Katy American Little League, and Katy Youth Baseball. They take players ages 4 to 18, and registration is generally in December and January for the spring season or July and August for the fall season.
For anyone who is unfamiliar with the sport, lacrosse is a team sport played with a stick (similar to a hockey stick) and a lacrosse ball. The objective of the game is to shoot the ball into a goal.
Katy Youth Cavaliers offer regular lacrosse and speed lacrosse. The difference is speed lacrosse is designed for younger children, and it’s a noncontact sport. This format helps build and improve on lacrosse fundamentals so that players can build confidence and familiarity with the sport.
It’s a great option to start off with if you don’t want your child playing on a more aggressive, competitive team right away.
Lacrosse is an intense sport where a lot of shoving and colliding happens. Because of this, most teams require the use of extensive protective gear, including mouthguards, helmets, gloves, and pads. The mouthguard can help keep teeth, braces, and sensitive inner tissues of the mouth safe from balls, sticks, and other players.
Mouthguards come in all shapes and sizes. Remember that the softer and more comfortable the mouthguard is, the less protection it offers. The dentist can help find the right balance between the two if you get a custom mouth guard fitted. These professionally tailored mouthguards provide more protection because they fit the exact shape of the mouth, leaving little room for accidents.
Like lacrosse and football, hockey is a high contact sport that requires protective gear to stay safe.
The slippery ice can make it difficult to maintain coordination, resulting in players crashing into each other. Ironically, the bulky hockey uniform can also cause players to lose balance and bump into each other.
Hockey is a popular sport in Katy, and your child can play with leagues and clubs around town. Houston Wild Hockey Club and Aerodrome Ice Skating Complex both have teams for kids. These leagues all require lots of equipment to shield your child from injuries. The extensive list includes shin guards, elbow pads, knee pads, chest pads, jockstraps, neck guards, and hockey gloves.
Make sure your child has everything they need to play a game safely. Dental repairs can be costly, painful, and time-consuming, and we definitely don’t want any of our patients to go through it.
Everyone should have a rudimentary understanding of self-defense. Martial arts, like taekwondo, karate, and judo, are a great place to start. Each form has a different origin, purpose, style, and technique, but what they all have in common is that they are contact sports.
While most martial arts are about learning movements and self-defense, there is still a chance your child could get hurt during training.
Most instructors are very careful to train students safely, but it doesn’t hurt to be ready! Sparring sessions often entail a variety of kicks, punches, and throws. If you are practicing any of the following arts, you may need protective gear:
- Jiu-Jitsu: Knee guards, ear guards, headgear
- Karate: Hand and footpads, cup, gloves
- Taekwondo: Chest, shin, and arm guards
- Aikido: Headguard, chest guard, knee and elbow support
There’s no shortage of dojos and martial arts academies in Katy. You have Rock Solid Tae Kwon-Do, Revolution Dojo, Black Dragon Taekwondo, Jade Mountain Martial Arts, and Legacy Martial Arts just to name a few. Each place has different rules and requirements for safety equipment.
It’s best to consult with the master or instructor about what your child needs to succeed in their class.
Most schools provide textbooks, but sometimes, your child will have required readings for an English class or scientific research for a science project.
In that case, we highly recommend visiting one of the local bookstores or libraries before hastily buying something online. You can often get better discounts and even free opportunities if you take the time to check out all your options first. Here’s where you can get those books:
- Katy Library (5414 Franz Rd, Katy, TX 77493): Not only can you check out books free at Katy Library, but you can also borrow from its virtual library. There’s no reason to purchase a book if your child will only be reading it once. Check out the Katy Library’s extensive catalog first.
- Katy Budget Books (2450 Fry Rd, Houston, TX 77084): Where do books go when we get tired of them? The landfill? The paper shredder? Katy Budget Books is a used book store that is home to thousands of beautiful and affordable books. You’ll definitely find some gems at this place.
- Books-a-Million (5000 Katy Mills Cir #221, Katy, TX 77494): Finding new books at the thrift store or the library can be hard. That’s where Books-a-Million comes in! The bookstore has an incredible selection of modern literature and timeless classics.
By the end of summer, all the ice cream and popsicles are probably having their sweet vengeance on your child’s teeth.
Take your kids to visit the pediatric dentist in Katy before school starts to get their bright, pearly whites are as bright and pearly as they were at the beginning of summer.
A minor toothache can now become a major distraction later in class. Get to the pediatric dentist during the summer while your child’s schedule is still open!
Although it may seem pointless to take care of baby teeth since they’re going to fall out anyway, baby teeth actually play an essential role in your child’s long-term dental health.
They need to be protected, so your child can eat, speak, and smile normally. Baby teeth also hold space, so permanent teeth and jawbones can develop properly.
We want you and your child to have fun at sports games, not worried over a dental emergency.
Our doctors can provide custom-made mouthguards, general dental exams, and other pediatric dentistry services for you and your family.
At Kids Healthy Teeth, our pediatric dentist will make sure your child feels ready and comfortable for their appointment. Like school, the dentist’s office can seem a bit scary, judgmental place, but we’re here to prove that belief wrong!
Make an appointment today to see our Katy pediatric dentist, so your child can enter the school with a confident smile.