This blog is brought to you by Campbell’s Soup, the official sponsor of…just kidding.
There is nothing like a hot bowl of soup on a crisp winter evening. Unless it's to help you combat the cold or virus you might be dealing with, that’s less fun.
As the season changes and wintry weather forces more activity indoors, our risk of sharing germs increases. Being sick stinks, getting others sick, not good either.
The ways in which our school community has dealt with and adapted to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic over the past few years have been amazing to see. And for all the trials put in front of us the past few years, we as a community rallied together to keep each other healthy and safe. Let's work through this winter with that same mindset.
Nurse Hannah Morris of Johnson Elementary shares this reminder, “Refer to your child’s specific school webpage to review their ‘return-to-school guidelines’ for up-to-date illness policies. Students with stomach viruses need to have not vomited or had diarrhea for 24 hours.” (Hey, we know this isn’t the most fun topic to read about, but it's real life, and we’ve all dealt with it.)
Lamoille Union High School Health Teacher Jeffrey Robinson says one of the most basic steps we can take is to dress appropriately for the weather. Dress in layers and add or remove as your or the room temperature fluctuates. Bring gloves and a hat and have backup pairs. And avoid cotton clothing. Cotton traps moisture against your skin.
Maintaining strong health and wellness relies on the sharing of information to be effective. The more our school leaders know, the better they can adapt and react to situations. Lamoille campus Registered Nurse Florence Kelley tells us our schools are asked to report Influenza-Like Illness data to the Vermont Department of Health for case and outbreak tracking.
There are some simple steps we can all take to keep ourselves and others healthy.
Get a Full Night’s Sleep
-Get enough sleep (8-9 hours each night)
-Sufficient sleep is an essential component of good health and disease prevention. A good night’s sleep makes everyone more productive and keeps our immune systems operating well. Younger kids should get 10 hours of sleep per night, which drops slightly (8.5-9.5 hours) for children aged 10-17.
Eat a Well-Balanced Diet
-Never share food, drinks, silverware, or other personal items with others who are sick.
-Healthy eating fuels our immune systems and plays a huge role in our long-term health. Encourage your family to eat brightly-colored fruits and vegetables – ideally 2 fruits and 3 vegetables per day during meals and snacks. Along with whole grains, dairy, and lean proteins.
-Remember that the Lamoille North School Nutrition Program prioritizes healthy, energizing, and filling meals. Have your student(s) take advantage.
-Children need at least 60 minutes of physical activity per day. During the week, they may accomplish part of this during school but make sure that they’re getting their full 60 minutes after the week concludes, especially during holidays and weekends.
Drink Plenty of Water
-People don’t typically associate dehydration with winter, but you can get dehydrated regardless of the temperature outside. Your body loses a lot of fluid during the cold, dry winter months, and many are less diligent about hydration. Make a point to drink water and replenish fluids.
Wash Your Hands
-One of the most important protective measures you can do is wash your hands. Wash with soap and water for 20 seconds, or use a hand sanitizer containing ethyl alcohol (at least 60%).
Cover Your Mouth
-Covering coughs and sneezes and keeping hands clean can help prevent the spread of serious respiratory illnesses like influenza, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), whooping cough, and COVID-19. Germs can be easily spread by:
Coughing, sneezing, or talking
Touching your face with unwashed hands after touching contaminated surfaces or objects
Touching surfaces or objects that may be frequently touched by other people
-To help stop the spread of germs:
Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze
Throw used tissues in the trash
If you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your elbow, not your hands
Watch What You Touch
-Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth. Remember every door, desk, computer, piece of money, etc, you touch can transfer germs from one person to another.
Air Quality Counts
-People tend to spend more time indoors when the temperature drops. Indoor air quality is often lower than the quality of the air outdoors. Indoor air pollutants and allergens can have a negative effect on your health.
Vacuum twice a week and clean the filter regularly, wash sheets each week
Replace air filters each month
Make a point to spend time outside
We understand the impact of student illnesses on working parents and guardians. Needing to keep children home can have multiple impacts on families. We appreciate you prioritizing the health and wellness of your children. Each time we can isolate illness and stop the spread of germs, the Lamoille North school community benefits.