Get Your Kids Ready for Daylight Saving Time by Following These Tips

You can reset kids' internal clocks more easily by easing them into it ahead of time

Sleeping Girl / Get Your Kids Ready for Daylight Saving Time by Following These Tips
Image: Pixabay
March 10, 2017

Most of your digital clocks will automatically change when Daylight Saving Time (DST) kicks in, but your child's internal clock won't make the change so easily—unless you prepare them beforehand.

According to the Pediatric Sleep Council, it can take up to 10 days for kids to fully reset their internal clocks to adjust to DST. This is because the signals telling the child's body when it's time to begin and end the day change with the times of day with certain amounts of light.

In a survey conducted by the Better Sleep Council (BSC) recently, 94 percent of parents estimated that getting their children back into their normal sleeping patterns takes two or more days. The adjustment takes six days or more for 31 percent of parents.

Given these statistics, it is unsurprising that 28 percent of all parents do not like to set their clocks ahead by an hour for DST. However, preparing early can make the change easier and shorter for everyone.

Make Gradual Changes

According to pediatric sleep expert Dr. Jodi Mindell, shifting bedtimes earlier by a few minutes every day leading up to the time change will enable parents to avoid meltdowns at bedtime on March 12 and in the morning on March 13.

"If possible, making slower changes can be beneficial," she says. "Start on Thursday night, shifting bedtime earlier by 15 minutes every day. Or, start on Saturday night shifting 30 minutes earlier."

The BSC adds that it may also help to add on an extra step or two to the child's bedtime routine. A warm bath or shower or reading a book together can help them relax in the hour before bedtime.

Adjust the New Time

In addition, parents should not let kids eat heavy meals close to bedtime, as doing so can interfere with sleep quality. And once the time changes, it is necessary to adjust everyone's routines to the new time, even if kids have to wake up earlier than normal.

Dr. Mindell offered a suggestion for parents to use light to their advantage when the time changes.

"Because children's internal clocks are affected by light and dark, parents should be sure to turn on the lights and open the blinds to let in as much natural light as possible in the morning," she said, "This signals to the child's body that it's time to start the day."

Get Connected with Consumer Connections

Stay up-to-date about issues that really matter! Get the Consumer Connections newsletter!

We're committed to providing you with information you need to make you a better, more informed consumer. Whether it's a vehicle recall, a product recall, or a new scam, we feature it in Consumer Connections.

So why not give it a try? Go on. All of your friends are doing it. It's completely free and comes just once a week.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is warning the public to keep these products—which contain the active ingredients tetrahydrozoline, oxymetazoline, or naphazoline (known as imidazoline derivatives)—out of the reach of children at all times. The products are sold under various brand names such as Visine, Dristan and Mucinex, as well as in generic and store brands.

For school children across the state of North Carolina and beyond, lunch at school can present itself as a time to eat pizza, cookies, chips, french fries, and other unhealthy options that may not typically be on the menu at home. To help combat the less-than-healthy choices that kids make on their own, many parents choose to pack lunches at home.

Have you ever left or thought about leaving the kids in the car while you make a 'quick stop' at the supermarket, dry cleaner or post office? It only takes a second for your car to shift into gear and rollaway, leaving your kids in tremendous danger.

It'll only be a minute, you say. You crack the windows and lock the car leaving your sleeping infant cozy in her car seat. The problem is that it's never just a minute. It's always longer than that and it only takes 10 minutes for your car to heat up to dangerous temperatures—potentially killing or permanently injuring your child.