Communicating BMI Results Administrators, Parents, and Community

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1 Communicating BMI Results Administrators, Parents, and Community North Andover Public Schools Barbara Hedstrom, RN, MSN, NCSN Cheryl Barczak, RN, MSN Kathy O Neill, RN, BS

2 How We Started We had an early start on education Superintendent wellness policy 2001 Health Advisory Council Nurses take the lead Healthy Living Newsletter 2008 edition A parent s guide to NA school health program Implementation of programs: 5210, NCIS Healthy Living Fall/Winter 2008 Issue 1 Getting Ready for Flu Season Wash your hands frequently using soap and water or alcohol based hand sanitizer. Teach young children to The flu season is starting, so it s time to think again about what to wash their hands for as long as it takes to sing Happy do about the flu. Birthday through twice. Avoid contact with sick people. The flu, or influenza, is a respiratory infection caused by a virus. And if you get the flu, stay home so you don t share your The common cold is another illness caused by viruses, and both virus with others. of these illnesses have some shared symptoms. They both can Always contact your doctor s office if you have questions have runny or stuffy noses, sore throats, and coughs. In small or concerns regarding you or your child. children a cold can also have a fever, but adults frequently don t have fevers with a cold. The symptoms of a cold tend to develop If you do get sick, stay home, get lots of rest, and drink plenty of gradually, over a day or 2. The flu (influenza), which is caused fluids. There are some over-the-counter medicines you can take by different viruses than a cold, tends to look different. In addition to help you feel better at home. Tylenol and ibuprofen can help to the nose, throat, and cough problems associated with a cold, with fevers; please remember that children should not take the flu frequently has a high fever, significant headache and aspirin, particularly if they have flu-like symptoms. Antihistamines muscle aches, and fatigue. The symptoms of the flu tend to and decongestants can help with nasal drainage or stuffiness. develop suddenly, instead of gradually. The worst symptoms of the flu may last 4 to 5 days, but the tiredness and weakness may Lots more information about the flu can be found at or last for 2 weeks or more. at One of the problems with the flu is that it is contagious from a day before any symptoms start showing so someone may well be sharing the virus without any idea that he or she is contagious. The North Andover school nurses have noted an increase in the Since the flu is spread by droplets, the virus can be spread number of children falling into the categories of overweight or at around by any uncovered sneeze or cough, or left behind on any risk for being overweight as calculated by the BMI. The nurses tables or door knobs by persons who have touched their face, or have also noticed an increase in the number of Type 2 diabetes in coughed into their hands, the day before they felt sick. our schools, one result from being overweight. Any persons with the flu remain contagious from the day before The Program is our answer to address this growing they feel sick until roughly 5 days after they started feeling sick. health problem. It is a four-month initiative that outlines nutritional Someone can be contagious for longer if his or her immune and physical activities that students participate in to encourage system is weakened by other health problems. them to develop positive eating habits and engage in physical activities that promote wellness. Each of the numbers represents a wellness goal that students work to achieve. Preventing the Flu 5-Fruit and vegetable servings each day What can you do to prevent the flu? The first step is to get a flu 2-Cut screen time to 2 hours or less each day vaccination. The Centers for Disease Control now recommends 1-Participate in at least 1 hour of physical activity every day flu shots for almost all people from the age of 6 months on. The 0-Restrict soda, sugar sweetened sports and fruit drinks; instead CDC recommends getting your flu shot as soon as the vaccine drink water and 3-4 servings/day of fat-free/skim or 1%milk becomes available. The peak season for flu season is most often in January or February. Monthly, before the goal setting starts, the students learn a health tip and receive goal trackers to help them monitor their The other way to prevent the flu is to practice every-day good success in achieving the goal for the month. health habits. Cover your cough or sneeze. Preferably do this with a How can parents help? Please encourage your child to tissue that you then throw in a trashcan. Next best is participate. Your support increases their success. More covering your cough with your inner elbow. information will be coming after the beginning of January. Avoid touching your own eyes, nose, or mouth try not to carry germs from someone else s old sneeze to where the germs can get in your body. Healthy Living is a newsletter produced by the North Andover Don t share food or drinks, even among family and close School Nurses to inform families of health initiatives and health friends during flu season. issues that impact the students in our schools.

3 How We Started Our first experience sending BMI results home Notice in each schools newsletter, website: easy stuff Communication with administration and teaching staff Mailed home for confidentiality Parents showed interest in health: no backlash

4 We Communicate Results and Show Value No surprises School leadership team School committee meeting update: year end statistics State information to newspapers Superintendent newsletter to parents PEP grant BMI: At Risk/Overweight Grade 1 1 M 1 F

5 We Seek Opportunities to Communicate Community TV, newspapers, p website Patch.com Board of Health meeting: televised Health Advisory Committee School based PTO meetings, parent newsletters, website Staff meetings: wellness policy Classroom education

6 We Educate and Engage Our Students Rationale Obesity rates Student self-esteem Education Health based programs: 5210, NCIS Goals Easily achievable for each student Improve health of students

7 Students Can Change Their BMI

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