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It’s good for children to be outdoors and active. However, too much exposure to sun can lead to burns, and as they get older skin cancer, premature aging of the skin, and eye damage. The health risks associated with over-exposure to UV radiation are largely preventable. With some simple steps, eyes and skin can be protected. A) Check the daily UV Index forecast: www.msc-smc.ec.gc.ca/education/uvindex/ forecasts/index_e.html And follow the sun protection actions for that day: www.msc-smc.ec.gc.ca/education/uvindex/ protecting_yourself_e.html B) Plan organized outdoor activities outside the peak hours of 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. When peak hours cannot be avoided: • Plan student activities to make use of existing shade • Use portable shade structures (e.g., gazebo tents, umbrellas, etc.) C) Role model sun safe behaviours D) Educate students and parents about sun safety, the UV Index and how to protect themselves: • Children's UV Index Sun Awareness Program (Health Canada) : www.hc-sc.gc.ca/hl-vs/securit/ sports/sun-sol/uv-prog/index_e.html • Sun safety awareness ideas in the School Sun Safety Information Guide (TPH) & Sunburn Prevention and Treatment Plan—Grade 6 (Toronto Public Health): www.toronto.ca/health/sun/index.htm • EcoSchool’s School Ground Greening: Designing for Shade and Energy Conservation: — The TDSB version is available at ecoschools.tdsb.on.ca > Green your School Grounds > Guide for Schools — All other Toronto schools may download the Ontario version at www.yorku.ca/ecoschl/enriching.asp
E) Help develop a sun safety policy at your school • Involve administration, teachers, parents and students By making it an important goal to prevent sunburn and protect eyes you will be giving your students the best gift of all—health for tomorrow. For more information contact your school liaison Public Health Nurse or call Toronto Health Connection: 416-338-7600.
FUN Summer Recipe
Fruit and Yogurt Smoothie (Makes 2 servings) 1 1 container of vanilla yogurt cup of assorted fresh, frozen or drained canned fruit 1/2 cup milk (optional) Put all the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Pour into glasses and serve.
How Does the Comprehensive School Health Model Work?
Many different strategies can surround the student and promote health in a comprehensive way. Healthy schools address health issues on many levels: • in the classroom • in the school environment • through policies • involvement with teachers and parents. Consider the example of a school that wants to prevent the spread of illness. It is important to teach students correct hand washing techniques, but these techniques will be more effective if there is soap in the washroom, and opportunities are given to wash hands before eating, after recess, etc. The student is more likely to continue the positive health behaviour: • when teachers instruct the students • when the school environment and policies are supportive • when parents reinforce the health behaviour Other illness prevention strategies: • Inform teachers/students about the new coughing/sneezing technique (www.toronto.ca/health/ sleeve_sneeze.htm). • Have school guidelines that ensure adequate soap and towels in washrooms, frequent cleaning of keyboards, bathroom fixtures, etc. • Include information in parents’ newsletters. Ask your school liaison Public Health Nurse (PHN) for ideas and resources to address any health issue in the school community. Visit Foundations for a Healthy School for more examples of comprehensive Healthy School initiatives at www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/healthyschools/infoTPA.html
In This Issue…
• Bullying Prevention Resources • New Canada’s Food Guide • School Health Committees • School, Wheel & Sun Safety • Physical Activity Initiatives • Summer Recipe • School Liaison PHN
Concerned About Your Students?
School staff and families can call Toronto Health Connection to speak with a Public Health professional for: • information • counselling • support groups • links with community resources and medical/treatment services Toronto Health Connection deals with parenting, growth and development, healthy eating, immunization, communicable diseases, environmental issues, etc. This service is free, confidential and interpreters can be accessed as needed. Toronto Health Connection Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. 416-338-7600 www.toronto.ca/health
• www.bullying.org • www.cyberbullying.ca • www.kidshelp.sympatico.ca or 1-800-668-6868 Many other resources, including these websites, are available in the resources: • Let’s Stop the Bullying (Toronto District School Board) • Bullying Awareness and Prevention (Toronto Catholic District School Board)
Feel Free to Photocopy!
This newsletter is also available on www.toronto.ca/health under “School Health Services” in the A-Z index.
“Working with the Public Health Nurse and Toronto Public Health with their special programs has been wonderful. Working with Toronto Public Health brings new insight and a new dimension to a healthy school environment.”
Paul Iron Principal of Willow Park Junior Public School (Toronto School on the Move, Inner City Model School)
New and Improved!
The new Eating Well with Canada's Food Guide is now available from Health Canada. For copies and interactive tools: www.healthcanada.gc.ca/foodguide 1-866-225-0709 Ask your school liaison PHN for more nutrition resources.
IWALK for the Fall
Start the school year on the right foot by having an IWALK event during International Walk to School Month in October. Plans are underway to organize a Record Breaking Walk to school on October 3rd. IWALK addresses the issues of physical activity, safer communities and environmental health. Toronto Public Health, in partnership with the Green Communities Association, continues to promote active and safe transportation to and from school. Join more than three million students worldwide who are expected to participate this year. Families and the school community can discover the simple joy of walking to school together. Students at Cassandra Public School were thrilled to have an IWALK event at their school last fall. Festivities included: a walk to school to celebrate the newly installed Walking Route signs; bike safety reviews by the school Police Liaison Officer and safety patrollers; and the raising of the Elmer flag by the kindergarten children. Special guests included the MPP, city councillor, school trustee, parents and police. Students especially loved the visit from Duke, a 19 year-old veteran chestnut horse from the Toronto Mounted Police Service. • www.saferoutestoschool.ca (follow links to IWALK) • contact your school liaison Public Health Nurse
What are Other Schools Doing About Safety?
Safety was recognized as an issue at Centennial Road P.S. The parent council decided to host a community safety day. The school liaison Public Health Nurse linked the school with the Active & Safe Routes to School program. The community safety day began as a “Walk to School” event. Students were able to meet many “helping” people in the neighbourhood such as paramedics, fire fighters and police on bikes and horses from the Mounted Police Service. A city councillor, school superintendent and school trustee were also present. Students received information about the environment and bicycle/helmet and traffic safety. To address other safety issues, the school partnered with the Red Cross to offer a babysitting training course for students. The school is also planning an “At Home Alone” session facilitated by Toronto Public Health staff. This session supports families in preparing their children (10-14 years) to stay home alone safely. Plans are also being made to address internet safety issues. Your school liaison PHN is available to provide support and resources regarding safety and injury prevention.
Promoting Wheel Safety
• The Young Cyclist Guide - Safe riding for the beginner cyclist to 12 years. - Tips on buying a helmet and use - Helmet law in Ontario - Rules of the road - Interaction with traffic - Where to ride safely > Ministry of Transportation: 416-235-3473 www.mto.gov.on.ca • Wheeled Sports Resources - Bike helmets - Ride safe top tips - Bike injuries and statistics - Frequently asked questions > SafeKids Canada: 1-888-723-3847 www.safekidscanada.ca • CAN-BIKE - Cycling news and courses for young cyclists and adults > CAN-BIKE: 416-392-1311 www.toronto.ca/cycling • Wheel Safety display and pamphlet for grades 4-6. The display focuses on: - Promoting correct helmet use - Wearing the right safety equipment for wheeled sports > Ask your school liaison Public Health Nurse for more information.
Kids Café Inspires Chefs
The issue Principal Lillian Kurnick, Holy Angels Catholic School wants to help students learn about healthy and nutritious snack choices. Working together Toronto Public Health (TPH) nutrition staff provided workshops for students in grades 4-8. Students created healthy living posters, got physically active, made healthy snacks, learned about nutrition and kitchen safety. The school liaison Public Health Nurse worked with school staff, TPH nutrition staff, university students and parents to introduce an after school snack club for students in grades 4-6. Action Teacher Joanne Murzydlo, with the support of TPH staff, university students and parent volunteers, launched the Kids Café Club in January 2006. The goals of this six week food skills program were to: • teach students how to prepare healthy snacks • promote the healthy weights philosophy, “Be active, eat well and be yourself.” It’s a winner An evaluation found that all the students would like to participate in a program like this again and half the students tried the recipes at home. Next steps Youth leaders (trained by TPH staff) announce healthy PA messages, maintain a health topic bulletin board and lead Daily Physical Activity. Youth leaders will be trained by nursing students to lead nutrition and physical activities in the Kids Café program. This school community is moving in a healthy direction with future planning meetings that include school staff, parents, students, school liaison PHN and community partners.
Wheel Safety and Your Students
Did you know? • Cyclists under 18 years of age are required by law to wear an approved bicycle helmet. • In-line skating, scootering and skate boarding have similar risks for injury as cycling. • 85% of head injuries can be prevented by simply wearing a properly fitted helmet.
Invite Your School Liaison Public Health Nurse to Your Health Committee
Your school liaison Public Health Nurse (PHN) can support your committee regarding issues from nutrition to bullying prevention. Your school liaison PHN can: • consult • provide resources • link the school with community agencies • and work with the committee on the planning and implementation of comprehensive health initiatives. Health committees work well with input from teachers, students, school support staff, parents, the school liaison PHN and representatives from the community. If you are unsure who your school liaison PHN is call Toronto Health Connection: 416-338-7600
Helmets are essential for all wheeled sports activities.
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