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Back to School: Parent tips for shopping for school supplies and tax-free weekend

Back-to-school shopping is underway in stores across central Ohio and doctors and parents are giving advice on how to make shopping smooth for families.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Back-to-school shopping is underway in stores across central Ohio and doctors and parents are giving advice on how to make shopping smooth for families.

“I have a teen, a tween and a toddler,” said Pediatrician Dr. Michelle Golla of Building Blocks Pediatrics. “Back to school can be a very exciting and overwhelming time of year for us.”

Dr. Golla said there are some simple things parents can do to make shopping easier.

“My middle schooler loves to take the lead, whether it’s in person or online shopping, and then they can actually go in and help with their shopping as well,” Golla said.

For parents who are heading to the store for shopping, schools have recently released their supply lists, which are available online. Golla said having that in front of you with a checklist can help.

Many schools are asking parents to provide their children with their own pencil boxes for all small supply items to cut down on cross-contamination.

Dr. Golla said she sometimes sees children come into her office complaining of backaches and pains, she said backpacks are often to blame.

“Make sure that it fits correctly. Measure the shoulders down to the belly button and add two inches onto that measurement. That will give you the maximum height of your child’s backpack,” she said.

While many schools are not yet requiring masks inside buildings, that could change at any moment. Dr. Golla said being prepared is key for that transition.

She said having lanyards to keep around their neck for their masks or small bags to put masks in when necessary can help children keep track of them.

Dr. Golla said she plans on doing most of her shopping during tax-free weekend beginning August 6. All clothing $75 or less, school supplies $20 or less and school instructional materials $20 or less will be exempt from sales and use tax.