School Health

10 Tips for PE Summer Camps

10 Tips for PE Summer Camps

 

Create a safe, inclusive, well-organized, and fun summer camp experience for every student. With an incalculable number of games and activities, every individual can get active and interact with their peers. These tips are specifically designed to enhance the physical education experience of every participant all summer long! 

  1. Plan Dynamic Activities: Prepare a diverse range of physical activities that cater to different skill levels, interests, and abilities. Ensure you have all necessary equipment ready and in working condition.
  2. Promote Teamwork and Sportsmanship: Design activities that encourage teamwork, cooperation, and fair play. Students should foster a sense of community and mutual respect among students and staff.
  3. Encourage Inclusivity: Design activities that are accessible and enjoyable for all students, regardless of their physical and emotional abilities. Promote a culture of respect, kindness, trustworthiness.
  4. Be Flexible: Prepare to adapt activities based on weather conditions, student energy and interest levels, or other unforeseen circumstances. Flexibility is crucial to maintaining a positive and engaging summer camp experience.
  5. Prioritize Safety: Conduct safety checks of all sports equipment in all facilities. Train staff in first aid and educate them on emergency procedures specific to physical activities. Establish clear rules to reduce the risk of injuries and offer treatment if needed.
  6. Stay Organized: Maintain detailed records of student information, including medical histories, allergies, and emergency contacts. Checklists can help ensure all equipment is accounted for, activities run smoothly, and even allow an easy way to share plans.
  7. Conduct Pre-Camp Training: Provide comprehensive training for staff on proven instructional strategies, injury prevention, and effective communication with children and parents. All parties should know proper protocols.
  8. Effective Communication: Maintain clear and consistent communication with students, staff, and parents. Provide detailed information about daily schedules, activity rules, and emergency contact procedures so that everyone can be kept in the loop.
  9. Evaluate and Improve: Regularly ask feedback from students, parents, and fellow staff. Use this information to continuously improve your summer camp activities, organization, and overall experience.
  10. Make It Fun and Engaging: Create a positive and energetic atmosphere where students feel excited to participate and play. Incorporate games and challenges to keep the experience enjoyable and motivating.
     

Remember, the most important part of summer camp is for everyone to have fun! Students and staff should have an enjoyable experience making memories and staying active. There are many ways for everyone to participate safely, while engaging in exciting physical and educational activities that will help build healthy habits for life.

Posted in Fab 5® Activities

National CPR & AED Awareness Week: Five Ways to Get Involved

National CPR and AED Awareness Week is a reminder of the power everyone holds when it comes to saving a life. According to the American Heart Association, during a cardiac emergency, for every minute that passes without CPR or a defibrillating shock, the probability of survival drops by about 10%*. This makes it important that bystanders know how to properly administer CPR and have quick access to an AED in times of crises. Through quality training and education, you’ll be able to foster the confidence you need to get one step closer to helping someone survive.

The Five Ways:

  • Encourage CPR and AED Certifications – Encouraging others to get CPR and AED certified can help them learn the life-saving skills and techniques necessary to respond to sudden cardiac arrest. Communities can use education and awareness to create a network of prepared responders who know how to act swiftly during cardiac emergencies, ultimately saving more lives.
  • Know the Signs and Symptoms – Actions as simple as telling someone to dial 911 or fetch the closest AED can make a difference in survival outcomes. Some AEDs, including ZOLL AEDs, provide written and verbal instructions to help inexperienced individuals perform quality CPR. If you witness somebody experiencing the following, be sure to act: 
    • No pulse or breathing
    • Loss of consciousness
    • Heart palpitations 
    • Loss of consciousness
  • Evaluate AED Placement – Take the time to review the location of AEDs in your school or facility. They should be placed in visible areas and within three minutes of every location in your building.  This includes providing one on each floor and storing them 48 inches off the ground for better wheelchair accessibility. When thinking of AED implementation, many locations need to be considered, including:
    • Elevators
    • Outside stairways
    • Cafeterias
    • Fitness centers and gymnasiums
    • Primary entrances and reception desks
    • Main corridors
    • Outdoor areas where students play sports
  • Ensure Rescue Readiness – Having emergency equipment readily available is vital for prompt intervention during SCA. Furthermore, having a well-defined emergency response plan can help ensure that everyone knows their roles and responsibilities in the event of sudden cardiac arrest. Staying ready for the unexpected at all times has the ability to increase survival rates and enhance overall public safety. Check out our School Safety Center and comprehensive supply list and use them as references when you're emergency planning and checking supplies off your list.
  • Enable Your Community to Take Action – Brainstorming how you can spread awareness about the significance of CPR and AEDs is another way you can take part this week.  Sharing personal stories or testimonials via social media is one approach to this – be sure to use the hashtag #AEDsHelpSaveLives! Using a voice and word-of-mouth will help you shine the spotlight on this topic this week and for weeks to come.

* 2010 AHA Guidelines for CPR and ECC. 

Posted in School Health, AED, Emergency Preparedness, Sudden Cardiac Arrest and Athletics

School Nurse Day 2024: Encouraging the Next Generation of School Nurses

We want to express our sincere appreciation for the incredible efforts of school nurses. Every day, you play a vital role in ensuring the health and well-being of students in our schools. From administering medications and treating injuries to providing emotional support and promoting healthy habits, your dedication knows no bounds.

This past week, we asked you to share your experiences, advice, and best practices to help empower the next generation of school nurses. Your responses gave us even more insight into how essential you are for nurturing students’ health and well-being.

Below are just some of the submissions we received.

What Would You Like to Share with Future School Nurses?

“Each student is unique.  Each student has their own story and their own history.  Even the frequent flyers are searching for something. It may be your touch, tone of your voice, or calmness of your clinic that brings them some comfort and peace. The days get hectic, but you are making a difference in each of these students’ lives.” – Dawn P.

“In school nursing, compassion with consistency is key. Each student that walks into your office has a story beyond the one that brought them to you. Be kind, be empathetic, and listen to them. Follow up on the issues that you see, call home when you have concerns, and use your resources. Sometimes all it takes is one person to take the extra step to make a huge difference in a child's life, and that one person could be you!” – Casey R.

“Get to know the students and staff outside of the health office. Take some time visiting the cafeteria during lunchtime, show up at the student’s after school activities, volunteer to be on committees. We are all so busy every day, but every so often, leave the office (even five minutes  every other week), to walk around and be present in the school. Getting to know the community you work in gives a whole new perspective to the students you care for.” – Katie P.

“School nursing is a specialty with many unique challenges and rewards. Realize that you will not know everything on day one, day 50, or day 2,000. Trust your training and experience. Connect with other school nurses, mentor when you can, and ask for help when you need it. You got this!” – Rebekkah D.

“When you are feeling overwhelmed between paperwork, screenings, and students coming into the office, take time to reground yourself. Remind yourself daily why you are here and who you are here to help.” -Alison S.

“Be patient, calm, and listen.  Sometimes we feel hurried to get through a checklist of "must-dos" and may miss an opportunity to impact a student's life or academic success.” – Colleen H.

Posted in School Health and Everyday Heroes

BLOG: You Don’t Have to Let Field Day Stress You Out!

By: Kristy Cobbs, 2021 INSHAPE Elementary PE Teacher of the Year

 

Planning a memorable and enjoyable field day can be daunting, but I’m here to help you make it easy breezy! I’m excited to share my expert tips and game recommendations to ensure your field day is a stress-free success!

 

  • Start early  

Set your date at the beginning of the year and put it on the master calendar. Advertise the date to the students’ parents in advance to ensure lots of volunteers. If you have difficulty getting volunteers, classroom teachers and aides can help run stations.

 

  • Stop worrying about structured timed rotations  

Instead, create 25-30 mini games and allow students to rotate freely in student-picked friend groups of about four to six. No competition, no keeping score and no sticking to a strict rotation schedule.  Just fun. See the list below for some of my favorites.

 

  • Keep a record

Make sure to save your list of activities each year along with a brief description of each.  Every year, add about five new activities and take out five older ones. Rotate old activities back in every few years. Students never get tired of the classics like the 3-legged race and tug-of-war.

 

  • Organize equipment ahead of time

Use cardboard boxes from the cafeteria to sort equipment according to the stations, making sure to include the activity description.  On the morning of the big day, grab the boxes and set up the stations.  Give the description write-ups to the parent volunteer so they know how to instruct the game.  

Optional Equipment:

PALOS™ Foldable Storage Baskets, Large

PALOS™ Foldable Game & Storage Baskets, Small

 

Some of my favorite Field Day activities.

 

  • Catch a Cannon Ball:  Using School Health PE Cannon Launchers, students take turns launching cannon balls to their partner.  Partners try to catch the cannon balls with a small bucket or with their hands.  

Optional Equipment:

o   The Zone™ Cannon Launchers

o   The Zone™ Buckets 

 

  • Ice Cream Scoop Relay: How about a “cold treat?” Students race back and forth trying to add scoops of ice cream to their cone.

Optional Equipment:

o   The Zone™ Ice Cream Scoop Relay

 

  • Tic Tac Toe: Zip tie nine hoops together forming a three-by-three grid.  Students take turns throwing discs or bean bags into the squares playing tic-tac-toe.  

Optional Equipment:

o   Deluxe Hoops 12-Pack

o   The Zone POWRDisc

o   Canvas Bean Bags

 

  • Water Balloon T-Ball:  Using batting tees and plastic bats, place water balloon on tee and have students hit it off. Watch out for the splash!

Optional Equipment:

o   The Zone™ Plastic Bat Set

o   Heavy Rubber Batting Tee

 

  • Junk in Your Trunk: Take empty tissue boxes and cut a slit in the ends near the base.  Slide belts through the slit. The Zone Super Straps work great. Add miscellaneous items like poker chips, dominoes, or plastic letters inside the tissue box.  Secure the tissue box to the student’s waist and then turn on some music and let them shake it out!

Optional Equipment:

o   The Zone™ Super Straps & Flags

 

  • Jenga®:  Create Jenga pieces with 12 pack soda sleeves.  Stuff sleeves with newspaper to add weight so they don’t blow away, then tape shut.  Use about 27-30 sleeves per game. Play Jenga as normal.

 

Bonus: Student Favorite!!

  • Belly Bumpers: Create a circle with cones.  Students climb into the belly bumpers and bump into other students trying to knock them out of the circle.

Optional Equipment:

o   Belly Bumpers

o   Standard Colored Half Cone Sets

 

I hope these tips help reduce your stress and help you have a successful Field Day!

Posted in Fab 5® Activities and The Whistle: PE Blog

National Athletic Training Month 2024: ATs are Essential!

National Athletic Training Month 2024: ATs are…Essential!

As another memorable year of NATM wraps up, we want to extend our gratitude to all athletic trainers for their unwavering dedication to athletes everywhere. You are an essential piece of championship teams, the backbones of successful athletic careers, and the guiding light in challenging recoveries. Without you, athletes would lack the crucial support for success on game day.

Throughout March, we asked you to tell us why you love being an athletic trainer and what it means to you! Your responses provided a glimpse into the impact your athletes, profession, and community hold in your hearts.

Below are just some of the inspiring answers we received.

Why Do You Love Being an Athletic Trainer?

“The best part of being an AT are the connections you make with your athletes, coaches, and the community. The longer you are part of a community, the more valuable you are, and I wouldn’t want to leave my high school community for anything!” -Heidi B.

“The secondary school setting is something special! The kids sometimes call me "mom" because they know I'm available for them for whatever they need! If they get hurt, need a band aid, need some advice, or need to vent, I'm there for them! I love watching them return to play the games they love so much. They make my job so enjoyable!” -Amanda H.

“I absolutely love being an AT! Helping others return to the sport or the activities they love is very fulfilling. It's sometimes a journey to get there, but I love being able to support those along the way.” -Liz E.

“I love being an athletic trainer because you get a chance to teach the athletes what it takes to bring the best out of themselves. I love encouraging them, especially after they've gotten injured. I have always been able to make them better than they were even before their injury. I just love my job.” -Gary C.

“I love being an AT because it allows me to build relationships and be in an athlete’s corner when they may feel like they have no one. Being an advocate for student athlete mental health is one of the most rewarding and crucial things about my job.” -Alec P.

“I love being able to be there for every aspect of my athlete’s needs- the mental, physical, and emotional needs that the athlete has in every stage of his/her/their career is so important to me! I love being on the sidelines and seeing my athletes through every stage of their career, as well as their wins, losses, injuries, and comebacks. I love what I do and have been doing it for the past 23 years!” -Mary H.

“My favorite part is being a preceptor. Being able to show my passion for this profession to aspiring ATs, so they go out and make a difference in hundreds or thousands of athletes' lives, is something that I couldn't go without. Even if we don’t get a 7-figure salary, our profession has so much to offer, and it puts a smile on my face to see each new generation coming through.” -Steve B.

At School Health, we know an athletic trainer faces new challenges and lessons daily. Thank you for always being there for your athletes and working tirelessly to ensure they’re prepared for every game and practice, all while inspiring them along the way.

 

Posted in School Health and Athletics

Fun With Fractions

Set-up:

 

Fun with Fractions

A fun way to learn about fractions! 

Grade Level: 2-5

Equipment: 

Set-up #1 (for full class)

On one half of the gym, scatter the cut pool noodles. Choose 2 people to guard the noodles. Give every other student a Super Strap to wear. Set a timer for 3 minutes. how to play: When the teacher says go, all Super Strap wearers try to run to the other side and grab one noodle piece to bring back to their side, without losing their flag. You are not safe anywhere on that side of the gym.  Once you return back to your side, you put the noodle piece on the end line. You keep playing until the 3 minutes is up.  At that point, your team will add up the noodle pieces, stacking up the smaller pieces to equal 1. What is your grand total? Play again and beat that total. Choose new taggers (flag pullers). 

 

Set-up #2 (for 6 teams)

Put all the noodle pieces in the center circle. Put 6 hoops equally around the perimeter of the gym, and split the students onto teams. Choose one team to guard the circle and give them pinnies to wear. The taggers have to stay in the circle. Set a timer for 3 minutes. how to play: When the teacher says go, all flag belt wearers try to run to the circle and steal one piece of pool noodle to bring back to their hoop, without losing their flag. You are not safe in the circle, or even near it. If you can steal a piece, you bring it back to your hoop and go again. If you lose your flag, either before or after you steal a piece, you take it back, go back to your hoop, put it on, and try again. After 3 minutes, stop the game and ask the students to return to their hoop and add up their pieces. Stack them so they equal 1. What is your grand total? Whichever team has the most can be the next taggers.  variations: Travel to other side or circle using different locomotors.

Posted in Activities

Start Getting Ready For The Next School Year

As you gear up for the end of another school year, it's the perfect time to start thinking ahead and planning for the next one! Whatever your role is, we have a few tips to help you plan better and make the transition smoother.

What can you do to prepare for the new school year?

  • Supply Lists – Our premade supply lists take the hassle out of supply ordering for the upcoming year. From essentials to exciting new products, planning for next year just got a whole lot easier.
  • ESSER III Funding – Be sure to check if there is any ESSER funding left in your district that you can use. Download our interactive supply list to see what you can purchase! If you’re looking to dig deeper into ESSER, watch our Federal Funding Explained series, where our funding expert, Dr. Ray, discusses the significance of utilizing these funds and specifics on how to do so.
  • Expert Assistance – Our experts know their stuff inside and out! With years of specialized knowledge in their fields, they each can provide guidance navigating complex compliance situations, product selection, program implementation, and equipment training. You will always be in good hands when you choose School Health. Our specialists can help in the following areas: vision and hearing, emergency preparedness, PE curriculum and professional development, special education, and sports medicine. Get a free consultation!
  • School Safety Center – Visit our School Safety Center for tips on creating an emergency operations plan that works best for your school or district. Make sure you have a plan to ensure  your emergency must-haves are in working order and ready to use. Some of these include AEDs, trauma kits, drug deactivation systems and evacuation equipment.  Summer school, camps, and athletic practices will soon be taking place so it’s crucial to stay emergency-ready! Ask us about our SH Connect  compliance Management System to make this process a breeze!
  • Essentials Restock - Get ready for the upcoming school year by taking inventory, organizing, cleaning, and sanitizing your workspaces, including disposing of any expired supplies or medications. Think about the infection prevention, cleaning, and general health essentials you use on a daily basis such as gloves, tissues, menstrual products, soaps, and disinfectants – and make sure you have enough of them!

Although the start of a new academic year can be overwhelming, our resources will help you stay prepared and ready to tackle whatever may come your way. We are always here to help, so that you can walk through the door on the first day of school with a little less worry, and a lot more confidence!

Looking for More?

Don’t forget to take a browse through our online catalogs where you can find all the supplies you need with a single click! Also, connect with us on social media to get more tips, participate in contests, and stay up to speed in everything health. Plus, subscribe to our emails to hear about new product offerings and get $5 off your first order! 

Posted in School Health

Combating Burnout: Tips for Self-Care

 

Did you know that workplace burnout has been on the rise ever since the pandemic first hit in 2020? According to The American Institute of Stress, 80% of workers feel stressed from their job, and nearly half of them need help coping with this stress. The education sector is notorious for its high-stress environment, with school staff frequently dealing with long working hours, heavy workloads, increasing administrative tasks, and pressure to focus on the individual needs of each student. Acknowledging burnout is essential to maintain the wellbeing of school employees and empower staff to create a healthy work-life balance. Now is the perfect time to start recognizing your stress triggers and indulging in the things you find most enjoyable.

Main Causes of Burnout in School Workers

In order to tackle burnout head on, we first need to start with knowing what it is and the effects that it has on the individual, both professionally and personally. There are many common causes of burnout in school workers. These include:

  • Excessive workload – Individuals who work in schools are frequently stretched thin and feel pressured to work long hours just to keep up. Large school and class sizes, increasing administrative responsibilities, and limited support staff are just a few of the challenges that lead to an unmanageable workload. 
  • Lack of resources – School employees may believe they are not being provided with the funding, materials, and equipment that is necessary for them to succeed in their role, contributing to feelings of frustration.
  • Administrative pressures – School nurses, teachers, and other educational workers may struggle to keep up with the demands of parents, administrators, and the community. 

Although your work environment may seem difficult and unbearable, there is one blissful thing that you should always strive to squeeze into your schedule: self-care. Like burnout, self-care also comes in many different forms and looks different for each individual. This is the time where you can focus on the most important thing: yourself!

Self-Care Tips (No… It’s Not Selfish!)

Taking intentional steps to nurture your own health and happiness is the first step to eliminating any overwhelming or negative feelings. Find what works best for you and prioritize it as frequently as you can. Psychiatrist, Amanda Itzkoff, explains the three types of self-care that are key to ongoing self-efficacy:

1. Physical

  • Take a nap to recharge your body and mind
  • Connect with nature and embrace the fresh air
  • Engage in physical activity such as jogging, walking, or even dancing
  • Do something crafty or DIY
  • Go for a drive without a destination

2. Mental

  • Journal or write down five things you love about yourself
  • Practice mindfulness with meditation or yoga to stay present in the moment
  • Take breaks when needed
  • Set boundaries when necessary to protect your time and energy
  • Read books to keep your mind occupied 

3.  Social

  • Spend time with your loved ones, including pets
  • Join a club or social group for extra support
  • Volunteer with others that have shared interests 
  • Express gratitude by performing small acts of kindness
  • Unplug from your devices and engage in person 

Recognizing and addressing the stress and burnout epidemic within schools is crucial for building a positive and healthy learning environment. Be sure to take care of yourself as much as you take care of others. Being in tune with your mind and body is the first step to combatting burnout, which is why self-care is so utterly important. Once you assess your own needs and find techniques that work for YOU, workplace challenges will be a little less dreadful and your life will be a little more fulfilling.

To kick-start your self-care routine, check out this video

 

Resources

https://health.clevelandclinic.org/signs-of-burnout/

https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/caring-for-your-mental-health

https://www.stress.org/workplace-stress

https://aihc-assn.org/burnout-a-threat-to-our-health-care-system/

https://psychiatristsnyc.com/blog/3-essential-types-of-self-care-for-everyday-life/\

Posted in School Health

The Opioid Crisis: Be Prepared for the Unexpected

 

Did you know that over 10 million people abuse prescribed opioids every year? According to the CDC, 1 in 7 high school students report that they have misused opioids at least once in their lifetime. The opioid crisis is a problematic pattern that can affect anyone regardless of race, gender, income level, or social class. Many of these incidents take place in educational settings, which is the one place where children should be safe. This makes it crucial that staff and students know what to do in the event of an overdose, share knowledge, and recognize the warning signs beforehand.

The Importance of Overdose Education in Schools

Detailed and comprehensive training within schools can empower the overall community to respond effectively to an overdose situation. Providing education about the dangers of opioids, along with how to prevent addiction and misuse, is an important initiative that schools can implement during this ongoing epidemic. Evidence-based prevention programs also have the ability to benefit schools by raising awareness and educating the overall school community about these drugs.

  • Both students and staff can learn about the dangers of opioid misuse, how they can mitigate the risks in their environment, and ways to prevent addiction
  • Schools can enforce an emergency plan outlining specific steps to be followed in the event of a drug overdose
  • School communities can offer students support and guidance through addiction or recovery, promoting healthier coping mechanisms

What is Naloxone and Why Should Schools Have It?

Naloxone, also known as Narcan, is a medication used to rapidly reverse the effects of an opioid overdose. It works by binding to the same receptors in the brain that opioids bind to, reversing and blocking the harmful effects that occur during an overdose. It brings the fatal symptoms of an opioid overdose to a halt in a prompt, safe, and efficient manner. Typically administered as a nasal spray, this medication has the potential to restore normal breathing in the individual. Nevertheless, even if someone has received naloxone, they will likely still need professional medical attention to prevent a recurrence of symptoms. It’s important to acknowledge that naloxone only works if the person is suspected to have taken opioids. However, schools nationwide are prioritizing the implementation of it, with the goal of promoting safety and protecting students and staff. The Food and Drug Administration approved Narcan for non-prescription use in March of 2023, meaning that anybody has the ability to purchase it without a doctor's approval. Ever since, schools have been stocking naloxone in case of an emergency.

 

The Key Points of Naloxone

  • Quick onset – Typically takes 1-5 minutes to restore normal breathing
  • Safety – Not addictive and has low risk for adverse effects
  • Over the counter - Accessible so that it is readily available for the people who need it

There are many steps that schools can take to prepare, prevent, and protect their community from opioid overdose. Overdose action plans should be thorough and involve a combination of education, support, and enforcement. School Health can help you get one step closer to saving a life with our new Naloxone Training Kits and other first aid necessities. Also, don’t forget to check out our recent webinar to learn more about this epidemic and what you can do to create a safer school environment, reducing the risk of opioid overdoses once and for all.

Resources

https://www.ed.gov/opioids/

https://www.cdc.gov/museum/education/newsletter/2022/july/index.html

https://dph.illinois.gov/topics-services/opioids/idph-data-dashboard.html

https://youth.gov/youth-topics/substance-abuse/opioids

https://drugabusestatistics.org/opioid-epidemic/

Posted in Emergency Preparedness

BLOG: Getting Students Excited About Nutrition

BLOG: Getting Students Excited About Nutrition

 

It seems the sight of children running around a playground is few and far between. Tablets, television and video game consoles are the new slides and swings, and it is taking a toll on children’s eating habits and physical health.

The inactivity of children has turned childhood obesity into a global epidemic and according to Benioff Children’s Hospitals, media use has been identified as a main contributing factor. Studies from Benioff states children between 8 and 18 spend about 6 hours and 43 minutes a day on media devices. Limited physical activity is an obvious reason excessive screen time is unhealthy, but the ads that come with the media they are consuming can be harmful as well. Children’s media often contains ads for foods that mostly have high sugar and high fat content.

Getting children away from their tablet completely is a tough task, but being able to limit screen time by finding something more entertaining is a big first step, and that first step can be at school.

What a child replenishes with after physical activity is just as important as the activity itself. FamilyDoctor.org explains the lifestyle benefits for children that eat healthy as well as what these healthy habits can prevent.

As teachers, it is important to educate your students on the benefits of good nutrition, and work to introduce them to some healthy snacks. School Health provides numerous ways to educate children on what a balanced meal looks like. The MyPlate Real Plate is a teaching aid used at mealtimes to show food groups and portion sizes for each meal.

Helping your students understand what it takes to maintain a healthy lifestyle can be essential for their future and taking a fun and rewarding approach through games and engaging educational resources can make it easier for them to remember key components.

Posted in The Whistle: PE Blog