GET READY. GET SET. GO!
Our school year is quickly approaching. We want your child and all our school families to have a safe, happy, productive and HEALTHY school year. CLEF School Nurse Pat Braun shares the following three important reminders as you begin school year preparations:
Backpacks when used correctly, can be an effective way to carry the books, supplies and personal items needed for a typical school day. Backpacks are generally designed to distribute the weight of the load among some of the body’s strongest muscles. When backpacks get too heavy or are carried improperly they can injure muscles or joints and contribute to back pain and other problems for children. When looking for a new or getting out last year’s backpack keep in mind these things:
Backpack size, style, and fit
- Backpacks should be no wider than the user’s chest.
- They should be worn no higher than the base of the neck.
- They should be worn no lower than 2-4 inches below the waist.
- They should be supported by a waist and/or chest strap.
- They should be made of lightweight material.
A good backpack has:
- A padded back
- Several pockets or compartments
- Side compression straps
- A waist or chest strap
- Reflectors or reflective color
- Two wide padded shoulder straps
Wearing a backpack
- When putting on a backpack, face the pack, bend knees, hold the backpack with both hands and straighten knees to lift to waist height.
- Apply one shoulder strap at a time
- Be sure to use BOTH shoulder straps
- Keeping your backpack adjusted and close to your body will lessen the strain caused to the back
Loading the backpack
Backpacks are extremely useful but should not be overloaded. A loaded backpack that weighs more than 15% of the carrier’s weight is TOO heavy. To determine the proper maximum weight for the user, multiply the user’s body weight by 0.15. If the backpack is heavier, items in it can be redistributed or removed. Carrying too much weight or wearing a backpack the wrong way can lead to:
- Muscle fatigue
- Poor posture
- Painful shoulders
- Back and neck pain
Source: Shriner’s Hospital, Orthopedics, 2017
2. GOOD HANDWASHING
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. Many diseases and conditions are spread by not washing hands with soap and clean, running water. If clean, running water is not accessible, as is common in many parts of the world, use soap and available water. If soap and water are unavailable, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol to clean hands. Many diseases and conditions are spread by not washing hands with soap and clean, running water.
Handwashing with soap removes germs from hands. This helps prevent infections because:
- People frequently touch their eyes, nose, and mouth without even realizing it. Germs can get into the body through the eyes, nose and mouth and make us sick.
- Germs from unwashed hands can get into foods and drinks while people prepare or consume them. Germs can multiply in some types of foods or drinks, under certain conditions, and make people sick.
- Germs from unwashed hands can be transferred to other objects, like handrails, table tops, or toys, and then transferred to another person’s hands.
- Removing germs through handwashing, therefore, helps prevent diarrhea and respiratory infections and may even help prevent skin and eye infections.
Teaching people about handwashing helps them and their communities stay healthy. Handwashing education at school and in the community:
- Reduces the number of people who get sick with diarrhea by 31%
- Reduces diarrheal illness in people with weakened immune systems by 58%
- Reduces respiratory illnesses, such as colds, in the general population by 16-21% (CDC, 2017)
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. Many diseases and conditions are spread by not washing hands with soap and clean, running water. If clean, running water is not accessible, as is common in many parts of the world, use soap and available water. If soap and water are unavailable, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol to clean hands.
When should you wash your hands?
- Before eating food
- While preparing food
- Before and after caring for someone who is sick
- Before and after treating a cut or wound
- After using the toilet
- After changing diapers or cleaning up a child who has used the toilet
- After blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing
- After touching an animal, animal feed, or animal waste
- After handling pet food or pet treats
- After touching garbage
How should you wash your hands?
- Wet your hands with clean, running water (warm or cold), turn off the tap and apply soap.
- Lather your hands by rubbing them together with the soap. Be sure to lather the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails.
- Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds. Need a timer? Hum the “Happy Birthday” song from beginning to end twice.
- Rinse your hands well under clean, running water.
- Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dry them.
Immunizing children protects children from serious illness and complications of vaccine-preventable diseases which can include amputation of an arm or leg, paralysis of limbs, hearing loss, convulsions, brain damage, and death. Vaccine-preventable diseases, such as measles, mumps, and whooping cough, are still a threat (May 11, 2018, CDC).
If an unvaccinated child is exposed to a disease germ, the child’s body may not be strong enough to fight the disease. Before vaccines, many children died from diseases that vaccines now prevent, such as whooping cough, measles, and polio. Sick children also can cause parents to lose time from work. (Aug 18, 2017, CDC).
PLEASE check with your child’s health care provider NOW to see if your child needs to be vaccinated. If you do not have a regular Health Care provider, check with your local public health dept or call Nurse Pat for resources that are giving children immunizations.
Your child is NOT to begin school unless they have had the age appropriate vaccinations. Schools are MANDATED by the State of Illinois to report evidence of children who have been vaccinated OR who have the appropriate waiver paperwork. Your child MUST have this information at the beginning of school as school records and reports will begin to be reviewed and are reportable soon after school begins.
Thank you for doing YOUR part for making our Lutheran schools HEALTHY so children can learn, be productive and develop SAFELY!