This section is designed for educators or parents to discover proper methods to a healthy life style.
Personal Hygiene and Sanitation
No matter where you live—be it Boston or Bamako—schools are the foundation of strong communities. They are, of course, places where teachers teach and children learn. But they are also places where community health workers deliver life-saving messages and medicines. They are places where adults gather in the evening for continuing education and town hall meetings. And they are places where people come to vote and young democracies flourish.
However, if schools are mismanaged or poorly maintained they unfortunately can lead to conditions that can damage community health and the general population. The consequences are threefold. First, health suffers. Schools can—and often do—become a breeding ground for diarrhea, parasitic worms, and other water-borne ailments. The World Health Organization estimates that diarrhea causes 1.5 million deaths per year world-wide; many resulting from transmission in schools.
Furthermore, schools without proper sanitation facilities represent a lost opportunity to promote good hygiene behavior in the larger community. Data suggests that students who practice good hygiene in schools also help teach good hygiene practices to their parents, siblings, and friends.
Second, education suffers. Worm infestations can lower children’s IQ scores. Studies show that students are more prone to missing lessons in schools without proper sanitation facilities. Such trends can have devastating long-term costs for students, communities and nations; virtually closing doors to opportunity.
Third, women and girls suffer disproportionately. Female school staff and girls who have reached puberty are less likely to attend schools that lack gender specific sanitation facilities. As we increasingly recognize the contribution of women to household income, health, education, and nutritional outcomes, nations simply cannot afford a lag in women’s education and literacy.
The bottom line is this: If we are serious about improving child health, achieving universal primary education, ensuring gender equality, and stimulating economic development, we need to be serious about providing safe water, sanitation, and hygiene education in schools (Maria Otero, Raising Clean Hands: How WASH Is Essential for Achieving Universal Education, remarks).
Prevention and Healthy Habits
• Eat smart, exercise regularly, and get routine health screenings. Be an active participant in managing your health. Start leading a healthy lifestyle.
• Exercise & Fitness
Find physical activity guidelines for children, adults, and seniors. Learn how to add exercise to your life. Learn how to measure the intensity of your workout. View training videos. Then get started!
• Diet, Nutrition & Eating Right
Get the latest dietary guidelines at ChooseMyPlate.gov, and learn the basics of eating healthy. Your body needs the right vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients to stay healthy.
Dietary Guidelines for Americans (U.S. Department of Agriculture & HHS). Get advice on how good dietary habits can promote health and reduce risk for major chronic diseases (2 years to adult).
ChooseMyPlate.gov (U.S. Department of Agriculture): Learn about the five food groups that are the building blocks for a healthy diet. Learn more about building a healthy plate.
Eat Healthy Learn the basics, the benefits, and take action.
Nutrition.gov (U.S. Department of Agriculture & HHS) Find easy-to-read information on food and nutrition.
• Healthy Lifestyle
What are Overweight and Obesity? Also in Spanish – en español (National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, NIH) Learn about causes, risks, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention.
Healthy Weight – It’s not a diet, it’s a lifestyle! (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) Read about balancing calories, preventing weight gain, losing weight, healthy eating, physical activity, and get tips for parents to help prevent childhood obesity.
• Injury & Accident Prevention
Injury, Violence & Safety (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – CDC) Read about preventing injury and violence, how to stay safe at home, school and work, safety on-the-go, and safety at play.
• Safety & Prevention (National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, CDC) explore an alphabetical list of workplace safety topics with links leading to in-depth information.
Many vaccines are routinely recommended for most people, including polio, mumps, and measles, rubella, and tetanus vaccines. Other vaccines are recommended for people based on their age, health, or specific circumstances.
Child & Adolescent Immunization Schedules For ages 0-6 years, 7-18 years, and “catch-up” schedules; en español.
A Parent’s Guide to Kids’ Vaccines Offers useful information about the benefits and risks of vaccines, along with steps to take when children are vaccinated.
National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP) (Health Resources and Services Administration) ensures an adequate supply of vaccines, stabilizes vaccine costs, and provides a forum for individuals found to be injured by certain vaccines.
• Environment and your Health
Stay aware of where you are and how you might be exposed to disease or injury. Learn about safety and prevention in your workplace, home, and other places.
Recipe for a Healthy Weekend
Put this list on your refrigerator, and refer to it during the weekend to be sure you’re on a healthy track.
Eat meals as a family
Limit TV time
Eat fruits and vegetables
Take a walk outside together
Read a book inside together
Get a good night’s sleep
Staying Healthy Every Day
When both grown-ups and children practice simple, everyday actions, it helps lead to staying healthy and keeping germs away. Try these simple tips during your everyday routines to help keep the whole family healthy and strong.
Wash Your Hands * Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds — especially after coughing or sneezing, after playing outside, before eating, and after using the bathroom. Washing gets rid of germs that might make children sick. Make sure that children can easily reach the sink, soap, and towels, and that grown-ups are washing their hands as well. Try this! Use a special song such as “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star” to help you remember how long to wash your hands.
Cover Your Cough or Sneeze * Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing. Throw out the tissue in a wastebasket after using it. If you don’t have a tissue, do not use your hand to cough or sneeze into. Instead, cough or sneeze into the bend of your arm or into the upper sleeve of your shirt.
Practice with your child a couple of times to be prepared and get the hang of it.
Try this! Your child might also need to learn how to use tissues properly. You can reinforce this good habit by:
• Keeping tissues where children can easily see them and reach them.
• Encouraging children to wipe their noses with a tissue when necessary, and helping them do so.
• Guiding them to throw away tissues promptly in the garbage, and then to wash their hands.
Show children how to wash their hands well with soap and water by washing yours at the same time. Together, wash for at least 20 seconds, and make sure you clean all parts of the hands.
Try singing “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star,” and keep scrubbing until you’re done!
Post a drawing or a picture with this steps by the sink as a reminder to always wash your hands after coughing or sneezing, after playing outside, before eating, and after going to the bathroom.
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