Here are ten essential how tos for school mums and dads, for everything from keeping headlice at bay to creating a last-minute fancy-dress costumeHow to stay organised: There's an awful lot to know, remember and respond to when your child starts school, from forms and permission slips to homework and the right clothes on the right day. Getting - and staying - organised is key here. Here are some to help you keep on top of everything. How to keep head lice at bay: Head lice are one of the slightly icky - and itchy - realities about school that you will probably have to deal with sooner rather than later. Prevention is key here; it's important to make sure your children's hair is properly tied back (tight plaits or buns rather than a half-ponytail). If they hate having it brushed, invest in a gentle hairbrush like a tangle teaser. And while there are many remedies to get rid of the lice and eggs, our top tip is to kill them off using hair straighteners. How to fight off the after-school blues: Most parents can recognise the period after-school where their child is exhausted, starving and somewhat tired and emotional. We'd recommend you follow these simple (food is key here). How to leave the house on time in the morning: The million dollar question; how do you get out of the house on time with small children? As Gill from states, it's almost impossible. Make it easier by getting everything ready the night before, from water bottles to your own outfit. And have a 'home' for everything related to school and insist your child puts their things there before they're allowed to watch TV in the evening. How to keep white socks white: Any parent who hates laundry will recoil in horror at the thought of white school socks that are brilliantly pale at the start of the year but get greyer and greyer as time goes on. Keep them in a white-only wash with some heavy-duty stain remover mixed with your normal washing powder and you can also soak them beforehand in a special mix. We're also intrigued to see if . Alternatively, see if your school allows darker socks. The day we bought navy blues ones was life-changing. How to remove whiteboard pen from school shirts: At some point in their reception year, it's likely that your child will be handed a pen and let loose on the whiteboard. You'll know this day has come when you find black pen marks on their clothes, Mumsnet is very helpful here; read these . How to create a last-minute fancy dress costume: There are a huge amount of potential dress-up days in primary school, from World Book Day to charity days like Comic Relief. Supermarkets are good for cheap costumes and you can always pick up bits from charity shops and pound shops, but for really last minute purchases, Amazon Prime is your last-minute friend. What are the best tips you'd hand on to new school parents? Leave a comment and let us know. Make sure you also read our post on the secrets of the school run
Sean Barber

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