August Story Ideas: Back to School Health

Posted by Agatha / on 08/07/2009 / 0 Comments

Source: Centers for Disease Control (CDC)

As students begin going back to school, it is important to make sure they are prepared for the year ahead and staying healthy in and out of the classroom. Students should get a certain amount of exercise, maintain good hand hygiene practices and follow good health habits to prevent the flu. The story ideas below are intended to help you and your readers get prepared for a healthy back to school!


A student walking with her parents

College.  It's a rite of passage for young adults. It means independence, possibly moving away from home, freedom and the responsibility of taking care of yourself.  And that means studying, interacting with new people, finding your way around new places and making sure you are staying healthy.  It can also be hard to deal with the pressures to drink, look thin, smoke, use drugs, or be sexually active. However, by taking these small, daily steps, the college years can be fun, safe, and healthy.

Hit Me With Your Best Shot

Children on a school bus

A child's life is precious.  And vaccines recommended by CDC are one of the forms of protection parents can use to keep their children safe, as well as their friends and classmates.  Not only do vaccines protect children against common seasonal diseases like influenza, they also help prevent much rarer diseases. Without vaccinations, the U.S. could see new epidemics of diseases such as polio. This year in particular, with the novel influenza A (H1N1) circulating as well as seasonal flu, it will be important for children to get vaccinated.  The following are CDC's recommendations for childhood vaccination:

 Meningitis 101


Meningococcal disease can claim the life of a child in just 24 hours.  With symptoms that resemble the flu, the disease can be hard to detect.  But it's easy to prevent.  Meningococcal disease, including viral meningitis and the rarer forms of bacterial meningitis, can be prevented with vaccination. Although anyone can get meningitis, pre-teens and adolescents and college students who live in dormitories are at an increased risk for meningococcal disease.  Make sure your students read up and get the protection they need.

Keep Your Cool in School

Children at school

As an estimated 55 million students head to school this fall, they are more likely to be concerned about stocking up on school supplies and homework assignments than violence. While U.S. schools remain relatively safe, acts of violence, such as bullying, fighting, and weapon use do happen at schools. However, less than 1 percent of all homicides among school-age children happen on school grounds or on the way to and from school. So the vast majority of students will never experience homicide at school.  School violence is a subset of youth violence, a broader public health problem. There is no single reason why students become violent. Being a victim of violence, performing poorly academically, associating with gangs, being rejected by peers, feeling disconnected from family, and having diminished economic opportunities are some of the circumstances putting students at risk for committing violence. Use the tips below to make sure the schools in your area stay safe:

Take Our Tip: Planning a Balanced Lunch

A child sitting in a school cafeteria

Healthy eating is an essential component of a healthy lifestyle and we know that dietary habits and preferences form in childhood and become habitual over time. As students move from childhood through adolescence and into adulthood, their dietary intake of key nutrients, such as iron and calcium, decreases. The following are some tips for planning a balanced lunch:

  1. Getting to know the food groups
  2. How much do I need of what?
    1. Dietary fat (including trans fat, saturated fat, cholesterol, polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats)
    2. Carbohydrates
    3. Protein
    4. Vitamins and minerals
    5. Fruits and veggies


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