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We know that sickness is the main reason for missing school, so the “Be Here. Be Healthy” campaign focuses on ways to ensure our children stay healthy.  The campaign focuses on four areas...
 
General Hygiene Tips (handwashing, sharing of personal items, etc.)
Health Habits/Healthy Body 
Dental hygiene/Eye care
Healthy eating/Proper sleep  
 
General Hygiene
  • Handwashing - Did you know that kids who wash their hands at least four times a day experience 24% fewer sick days due from colds, the flu, & similar illnesses and 51% fewer sick days due to stomach ailments?
  • Sharing of Personal Items - This includes utensils and water bottles, but at school, it also includes pencils, scissors, etc. 
  • Proper Cough & Sneeze Technique (Source: Centers for Disease Control) - 1.  Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.  2. Put your used tissue in the waste basket. Wash your hands. 3. If you don't have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve or elbow, not your hands.
  • Dressing Appropriately - As the winter season approaches, our elementary students will go outside for recess whenever weather permits. This means they will be outside when it’s cold. Be sure your child has his/her coat, hat, and gloves on wintry days. If you need assistance with winter apparel, please contact Bright Futures at brightfutures@harrisonvilleschools.org
Colds and similar illnesses are inevitable. Once one child gets it, many times the sickness runs its course through the whole family. Germ hot spots in the home include phones, door handles, cabinet pulls, counters, tables, remote controls, refrigerator and microwave doors, light switches, toilet handles, computer keyboards, sponges and dish towels, kids toys, and faucets. If someone is sick, experts recommend daily disinfection wipe downs of these areas.

The district also takes extra steps during cold and flu season. Common areas in the school are focus areas for increased disinfection and classrooms with high absenteeism get additional cleaning.

The district's policy for illness is that students should stay home at least 24 hours after a fever is gone without the use of fever-reducing drugs such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen. 
 
Healthy Habits - Exercise & Drinking Water 
School-age children need 60 minutes of exercise each day. Exercise is not only good for students’ health, but for their academic success too. Research by the Centers for Disease Control shows that students who earn mostly A's are almost twice as likely to get regular physical activity than students who receive mostly D's and F's. Physical activity can help students focus, improve behavior and boost positive attitudes.

Exercise can fall into three categories: endurance/aerobic, strength and flexibility. Examples of each include:
  • Endurance/aerobic - jogging, basketball, skating, soccer, swimming, tennis, walking
  • Strength - push-ups, crunches, pull-ups, climbing, wrestling, gymnastics
  • Flexibility - stretching, reaching
As for water consumption, children need between five and eight cups of water each day, but some children may be fine with less water, and children who are very active may need more. Your child may need more water during the day when it's hot outside or when he/she is sick or recovering from an illness. Some tips for encouraging your student to drink more water…
  • Fill reusable water bottles to bring in the car or on the go.
  • Keep a pitcher of water in the fridge.
  • Put a slice of orange, lemon or lime to add flavor. (Be careful with purchased flavored water … check the label to see what’s been added and how many calories it contains.)
  • If your children are involved in sports, insist on water and not “sports drinks;” they often contain sugar, sodium, calories and caffeine and other stimulants.
Dental Hygiene & Eye Care

The most important dental care tips are to brush your teeth twice daily for at least two minutes each time, floss daily, and visit your dentist regularly.

It’s also important to watch the sweets you eat. For most people, it's hard to cut out sweets completely, so try to follow these more realistic guidelines:

  • Eat carbohydrates (sugars and starches) with a meal.
  • If you can't brush your teeth after eating, rinse your mouth with water or mouthwash, or chew sugarless gum.
  • Don't eat sugary foods between meals.
  • If you snack, eat nonsugary foods, such as cheese, popcorn, raw veggies, or yogurt.
In terms of eye care, it’s important to get your eyes checked regularly. Children should have their first comprehensive eye exam at age 3. Unless their eye doctor suggests otherwise, they should continue to have eye exams every two years. The school completes vision and dental screenings as part of our health fairs in the fall, however, screenings can only identify certain issues.

Some of the signs that my indicate your student has a vision problem include:
  • being unable to see objects at a distance
  • having trouble reading the whiteboard
  • squinting
  • difficulty reading
  • sitting too close to the TV

 

 
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