Cold tips for school nurses
School nurses can find tips on how to communicate with parents and teachers about minimizing illness at http://myhealthyschool.com. Suggestions include contacting parents and teachers via email with healthy reminders, such as cold and flu prevention, proper hand-washing techniques and advice for parents on keeping sick children at home.
Encouraging feedback and regular communication helps improve health and relationships in the school community. For hand washing, students can be taught to sing Happy Birthday or say their ABCs twice for proper scrubbing time. Reminders can be sent out that bottled hand sanitizers are for use when soap and water are inaccessible, not as a replacement.
A free poster in English and Spanish from the Center for Disease Control shows proper cough and sneeze etiquette. Download it at www.cdc.gov/flu/protect/covercough.htm. The site also contains tips on how to teach kids basic information about preventing the spread of germs, including how to dispose of tissues and Band-Aids (followed, of course, by hand washing).
Stepping it up
Fun, interactive projects for educators are available through NEA's Health Information Network, which has collaborated to create the Healthy Steps for Healthy Lives program. It serves as a resource for educators to help support ongoing efforts to teach students about being healthy. Each project comes with specific ideas, activity sheets, graphics and charts. Designed for grades K-3 and divided into three categories: THINK, EAT and MOVE Healthy, the Healthy Steps for Healthy Lives™ instructional activities provide step-by-step directions to carry out these lessons in the classroom. Visit www.neahin.org/educator-resources/.