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School Nurse Tips for a Health School Year

School Nurses’ Best Tips for Keeping Kids Healthy at School

Image of proper handwashing procedures

Most school nurses agree: The best way to keep students healthy during the school year is to make sure they wash their hands.

That simple tip matches the advice from experts at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): "Keeping hands clean through improved hand hygiene is one of the most important steps we can take to avoid getting sick and spreading germs to others."

Hand Washing Is the Top Recommendation

Here's what else school nurses suggested:

  • 18% said parents should encourage kids and teens to eat a nutritious diet.
  • 17% said parents should help kids and teens get enough sleep.
  • 11% said families need to stay up to date with all recommended immunizations, including flu shots.
  • 8% said parents have to keep students home when they're sick.

Keep Sick Students Home, School Nurses Say

Many schools require that students stay home until at least 24 hours after a fever has broken naturally, without fever-reducing medicines.

When asked "What's the most important thing teachers can do to help keep students healthy during the school year?" even more school nurses recommended hand washing:

  • 73% said teachers should encourage proper hygiene and hand washing, and keep desks and classrooms clean
  • 12% said teachers should be role models to their students for healthy behaviors
  • 3% said teachers should send students home or to the nurse's office as soon as students say they feel sick or show signs of illness
  • 3% said teachers need to watch for signs of stress

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Additional Resources

American Heart Association – Ten tips to help children develop healthy habits http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/GettingHealthy/HealthierKids/HowtoMakeaHealthyHome/Top-10-Tips-to-Help-Children-Develop-Healthy-Habits_UCM_303805_Article.jsp

CDC Tips for raising safe and healthy kids
http://www.cdc.gov/family/parenttips/

Importance of sleep
http://www.clevelandclinicwellness.com/mind/HealthyKids/Pages/The-Importance-of-Sleep-for-Kids-and-Teens.aspx#