From the School Nurse: October 2013 School Newsletter

October 4th-11th is Walk/Bike to School Week

Newton is participating in National Walk to School Day on October 9th! Kids all around Newton will be walking to school to:

 Have fun!

 Encourage healthier habits

 Promote a cleaner environment

 Be a part of the community

Last year, thousands of students reaped the numerous health and environmental benefits that walking, biking or riding the bus to school provides. Walking or biking to school shouldn’t just be a once a year activity though. We’re lucky in Newton that most students live close enough to walk, bike or ride a bus to school every day. Read on to learn why a car-free commute to school is a healthy way to start your day, and tips for getting going!

Regular physical activity, including walking to school, provides the following benefits according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

 Builds and maintains healthy bones, muscles, and joints.

 Helps control weight, build lean muscle and reduce fat.

 Improves sense of self-image and autonomy.

 Fosters healthy social and emotional development.

More students walking, biking or taking the bus helps reduce car congestion around the school, and reduce the environmental impact cars make.

Even students who take the bus benefit from walking to and from the bus stop, and the sense of independence created by getting to school on their own.

Students who walk and bike to school learn the rules of the road, which can help make them better pedestrians and drivers as they get older and get to school on their own.

Even for parents who are planning to drive to work, walking to school can be quicker than dealing with car congestion around the school building. Or if you must drive, consider dropping students off a few blocks before the school and allowing them to walk the rest of the way.

It’s possible to walk year round, even in New England. Break out those snow boots, hats, gloves, galoshes and rain/winter coats when the weather forecast calls for them.

If you’re not sure where to begin, consider making a dry run on a weekend when there isn’t pressure to be on time. Practice the route with your child so s/he knows where to go.

Safety first! Always wear a helmet when bicycling, riding a scooter, or anything else with wheels.

Halloween Safety Tips

There are many ways to stay healthy and safe this Halloween.

 Avoid trick-or-treating alone– always stay with a group or a trusted adult

 Fasten reflective tape to costumes or carry a flashlight so cars can see you

 Eat only factory-wrapped treats, avoid any homemade treats from strangers

 Never stop at dark houses, only stop at houses that are well lit

Have a healthier Halloween!

 For Halloween party guests, offer fruits, veggies, and cheeses

 Have fun party games for kids to give them physical activity

 Keep lit candles and other decorations away from curtains, and out of the reach of kids

 Drive more cautiously on Halloween to allow safe walking for trick-or-treaters

For a pdf version of this newsletter, please use the following link: School Health Newsletter October 2013

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