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Austin doctor shares impact daylight saving time has on kids

Dr. Aammar Khan, a pediatrician at Austin Diagnostic Clinic, shares tips parents can take to help their kids adjust to daylight saving time.

AUSTIN, Texas — With daylight saving time in place, the impact of losing an hour of sleep is on a lot of people's minds.

A time change of even only one hour can affect a child’s circadian rhythms, and therefore their sleep schedule, for a few days. Early mornings can lead to overtired kids and grumpy moms and dads.

Dr. Aammar Khan, a pediatrician at Austin Diagnostic Clinic, said there are ways for parents to prepare their children to “spring ahead” and also be informed of the effects the time change can have on children.

Some things parents can do include:

  • Control kids' light exposure before bedtime by making sure that they're not getting too much natural light or lights through digital devices
  •  Cut naps short so they will start to get sleepy earlier in the night

"Children, once they get into their routine, we all have this internal clock. And once you kind of get your internal clock set, whether or not you're jumping forward or jumping back, you definitely throw it off, and it can be definitely frustrating," said Dr. Khan.

RELATED: Where all 50 states stand on making daylight saving time permanent

Khan said that some kids, even if their parent tries to plan for the time change, can just be a little cranky. The biggest thing as parents is to be patient with your child and give them some time to adjust to get through the time change.

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