Good Health and Steady Attendance Go Hand in Hand … So Let’s Wash Those Hands!
As the days grow shorter and colder, we know that winter is on its way. There are many special family gatherings and community events throughout November and December to which many of us look forward. However, most don’t get excited about another part of this time of year–cold and flu season!
Research suggests a strong link between school attendance and good health. Some studies show parents reporting more than 60 percent of student absence as health related, according to Attendance Works. Missing out on instructional days due to illness is both no fun for a child and may set students behind on benchmark goals as we approach the midyear mark.
Thankfully there are a few basic ways to help support the health and wellness of students to reduce health-related absences:
Promoting and Modeling Good Hygiene
Students should be washing and/or sanitizing hands throughout the day at school and at home such as: when using the restroom, before and after meal times, and following the use of high-touch items. Children should also be encouraged to cover any sneezes or coughs to limit spread of germs. These behaviors should be modeled at school and home.
Taking Care of Our Bodies Through Rest and Nutrition
Getting enough sleep and rest is important for the immune system. Without proper rest, students and adults may find themselves more susceptible to illness. Eating nutritious, vitamin-rich foods and staying hydrated is also critical to wellbeing. Students can access healthful meals and produce each school day in the cafeteria.
Staying Up-To-Date on Check-Ups and Immunizations
Regular healthy child visits and check-ups are an important time to discuss any concerns with a physician and a time to gather more information about your child’s overall health. Childhood immunizations, and other recommended immunizations such as those that protect against Influenza and COVID-19, are another component to staying well.
Supporting our immune systems is a critical component of feeling good and having steady attendance. Your primary doctor, nurse, clinic, or school nurse can offer more tips about staying healthy, as well. Let’s Attend and Achieve Together!
If students are unwell, or presenting symptoms such as a fever or cough, please stay home and contact your school site office to report the absence and to discuss next steps.